Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Crusted French Bread
These winter days have me hanging out in the kitchen experimenting with something new or just having fun with the tried and true. Either way I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and I love it! It just doesn't leave a whole lot of time for all the other things I enjoy doing but I can't seem to help myself. Too many ideas in my head of things I'd like to try.
I have been wanting to bake some of this bread but kept pushing it off. On Saturday I happened to make an unplanned stop at a kitchen specialty store and found the perfect pan to bake it in. I couldn't wait to use it!
I found a recipe online that looked pretty good but I knew I would want more flavor in it plus I wanted to use some fresh ground wheat flour, so I modified it, adding a lot of Italian seasonings and the wheat flour and topped it with Parmesan cheese and fine garlic powder. It.is.delicious!!
Here is what you'll need:
2 cups warm water
1½ Tablespoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
½ teaspoon Basil and Garlic seasoning (Perfect Pinch from McCormick)
½ teaspoon Garlic and Herb seasoning (Perfect Pinch from McCormick)
2 cups freshly milled wheat flour ( Prairie Gold wheat berries)
4 cups (maybe a little more) all purpose flour (Gold Medal)
1 egg white
1 Tablespoon water
Place the first three ingredients into a large mixer bowl. Give it a stir and let sit for 5 minutes, covered.
Add all the other seasonings and stir again.
Add the wheat flour and stir.
Add the rest of the flour and knead for 5 minutes on speed 1 with a Bosch mixer.
Place into a greased bowl, spray the top with olive oil. Put into a warm place (I like to put mine into the oven with the oven light on).
Let rise till double in size. About 30 minutes.
Let rise till double again. About 30 minutes.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
Knead for about 1 minute.
Divide into even halves. Using a rolling pin roll into a 12-15 inch oval.
Divide into thirds if using for subs.
Roll up tightly, starting with a long side.
Place into a greased tube pan.
Cut diagonal slashes into the tops.
Beat egg white and water till frothy and brush generously over tops of loaves.
Sprinkle with grated Parmesan Cheese and fine garlic powder.
Put in a warm place and let rise till double in size.
Bake for 23-25 minutes or till golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped.
Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
This bread has FANTASTIC FLAVOR and is soft on the inside and crusty on the outside. It would be perfect for garlic bread or subs. It's good enough to eat without anything, really. Tonight we ate it as this delicious sub! Mmmmm, so good! We added watermelon to the menu to make it a summertime supper on this gray winter evening. ☺