Monday, March 29, 2010

Quick Bread

Andrew and I have made many attempts at bread.  Some have turned out wonderfully, while others became heavy bricks only valuable to folks involved in organized crime.  The good ones often took a lot of time and would consume much of a weekend day with two sets of kneading and rising.  I was lamenting this to my mother one day and she suggested (gasp) that I buy a bread machine.  Really?  A bread machine?  I put bread machines on a level with rice cookers and microwaves, handy, no question about that, but not real cooking.  I wanted to find a bread recipe that was from scratch, homemade, easy, tasty, and quick (relatively speaking).  I have a huge cookbook of breads from around the world, and not a single one of those recipes was quick or easy.  I searched the web for recipes and managed to make a few mediocre loaves that were a small step above dense.  Justifiably, I was starting to think that bread just wasn't my thing.  I clearly didn't have the patience for it.  But then, I starting collecting recipes for a little cookbook my daughter's school is creating, and low and behold, a quick bread recipe was submitted.  I was skeptical, but I gave it a try.  Delicious!  Easy!  Quick!  Soft!  Fresh!  This bread was the real deal.  So, look no further, homemade bread is now in your future too.  

Recipe from Fuzzy Rogers
Makes 1 round loaf

3 Cups bread flour
1 1/4 Cups warm water
1 pkg. quick yeast (I used regular and it came out great.)
2 teaspoons salt
1-2 Tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you like your bread)
1/4-1/2 teaspoons onion powder (optional)
Rosemary and other herbs to taste
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Combine 2 cups of flour, salt, sugar, herbs, and onion powder.  Dissolve yeast in the warm water.  Add yeast/water mixture and olive oil to the flour mixture.  Mix well with a mixer.  Once uniform, add final cup of flour and mix well.  Cover and let rise 30-45 minutes.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix the dough into a ball, toss onto a piece of cornmeal covered foil.  Rub outside of dough with extra olive oil and dust with herbs as desired.  Place on a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes.  Enjoy!             

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