Sunday, May 18, 2008

How to Become a Domestic Goddess in 18 Easy Steps

Want to impress someone you love? Show up anywhere with a freshly baked loaf of crusty French bread. Heaven with garlic butter, delightful on a picnic with fruit and cheese, divine with strawberry jam.

This is my favorite bread recipe, because it looks very complicated but only requires five basic ingredients. Best of all...no Bosch, KitchenAid, bread machine is necessary. Stir it up in the morning, check on the rising dough a couple times during the day, roll it up and pop it in the oven. Enjoy tonight!

Here's what to do...



Sprinkle 1 tablespoon yeast into 1/4 cup lukewarm water. Let stand for a few minutes; stir until yeast is dissolved.



Measure 1 tablespoon shortening, 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 tablespoon salt into large bowl.


Pour one cup boiling water over this. Then add 3/4 cup cold water and cool to lukewarm. Add dissolved yeast.


Gradually add 5 to 6 cups white flour.





Stir to form a moderately stiff dough.






Turn out on a floured surface and knead by hand for a few minutes until dough becomes smooth and satiny. Add more flour if necessary.



Dough will be easy to shape into a ball.





Place in a greased bowl. Cover.



Let rise until doubled (1 to 1.5 hours).


Punch down and let rise until doubled again. (30-45 minutes)






Turn out onto lightly floured surface and divide into 2 portions.



Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.


Roll each portion into a rectangle.


Roll up tightly into baguette shape, beginning at long side.





Place seam side down on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until double. (1 hour)


Brush with water for crispy crust. (For softer crust use egg white beaten with water.) With a sharp knife, make three slashes across the top of each loaf. Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 45 minutes--until lightly browned. Bread will sound hollow when tapped. (It is ok if the loaf does not look perfect...you WANT it to look homemade!)
Slice and slather with topping of your choice.

Congratulations...you have achieved carbo-nirvana.








17 comments:

Amanda said...

Oh, that sounds soooo good. I am going to have to try it. And soon. Thanks for sharing!

Lauren said...

Thank you Gabi!

I can tell you really care about me to share this recipe with me. I am now going to print it off...IN COLOR, no less ;)

diane said...

Umm, I'll take two loaves please!

Shally said...

That looks sooooo good! I could eat just bread all day and be very happy... a little heavier, but HAPPY.

Dang. I wish I had the brain cells to make this right now. Knowing me, I would leave it in the bowl all day, then remember just before bed that I was supposed to do something...

Someday... someday my brain will work again, and I will make this bread!!

Annemarie said...

I HAVE to try this! It looks so good (& easy)!!

Lindsey said...

Looks soooooooo delicious!!! YUM! Do you ship?

TravelinOma said...

I wish I was your elderly mother and you brought me fresh bread every week. Oh! I am your elderly mother! (Actually I baked another batch of the chocolate croissants you sent and they were heavenly!)

Christie said...

I wish you lived by me. I would invite you to dinner and ask you to bring that bread.

andrea said...

you lost me at "knead by hand."

martha corinna said...

Looks so good. I am on a carb and sugar kick so I'll be sure to make that this afternoon. I'm getting all set for my gestational diabetes test coming up tom. This is perfect!

Emy5 said...

Awesome! I would really like to be a bread making goddess one day.

Holly said...

Oh my goodness this looks so good!

I am also picturing Ricky and Fred making bread while Lucy and Ethel went out to work. (I might be confusing the too much yeast/bread episode with the laundry soap episode so this might be completely wrong and therfore lame. Sorry.)

Holly said...

Sorry again. Typo this time. I meant therefore.

Ilene said...

Can't wait for the heat to die down so I can bake again...

Kenny and Linsey said...

I am on a diet - this is not helping!! Don't worry, I've filed it away for when I am in a non-diet phase - I feel one coming on soon, very, very soon.

lainakay said...

Yum! Can't wait to try this...

Oh, and what was that about chocolate croissants, that can be sent and baked later? Do tell...

Yes, I'm greedy that way.

cyn the win said...

i choose to belive that manna tasted like homemade bread.

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