Sunday, October 24, 2010

Is It Bad Manners or Bread?


Translation:  Mmm hmm, this bread is really good! 

And talking with your mouth full is bad manners, right?  Sorta like a good belch is a compliment to the cook I say! 

I suppose that when I set my mind to something I go berserk!  I finally got down to the business of bread making!  I have been wanting to get back to this for some time now and I know many of you are pretty good at it.  It has me motivated!  Most of my bread making experience is with a bread machine so I want to broaden my horizons a bit.

I'll need help here, so be ready!  There are questions in italics scattered thru out where I am soliciting your advice and expertise! 
A while back, MamaTea emailed me her recipe for Honey White/Wheat Bread and she later posted it HERE.  Everything she said I found to be spot on!  I didn't take many photos, but here are the before and afters:

The 'after' photo is really more about the vultures descending upon it!  aka Da Moms!

I ended up with 3 loaves and 4 mini's.  Mini's because I have to keep my Apple Dumplin's happy too!  Nana brought her a loaf and she didn't hesitate...or wait for it to be sliced!  One question for that bed head or is she making a fashion statement?  Heheheee!
She had it for breakfast the next morning too!  This bread was really good toasted!
We also made homemade butter to go along with it.  Have you ever made it?  It was so easy I almost felt stupid!

Not stopping there, I had a Halloween Party to go to and needed something to go along with the Hot Pizza Dip I was bringing...
My Bro and SIL
So I made Focaccia! 

I've never made it and I am not entirely certain that I have even eaten any in the recent past.  I read that it is akin to pizza dough and judging from the texture, it was a bit chewy like a pizza dough.  Does that seem right?  It tasted great and sometimes that's all that matters, huh?

Hot Pizza Dip - Compliments of my good friend, Heather 

1 block Cream Cheese, softened
1 t. Italian Seasoning
1 C Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
3/4 C Parmesan Cheese, grated
8 oz Pizza or Spaghetti Sauce
4 T Green Pepper, chopped
4 T Green Onion, chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, sliced (I added that part)

Combine Cream Cheese and Italian Seasoning and spread in bottom of shallow baker. 
Layer half of the Cheeses
Peppers, Onions, Garlic
Other half of the Cheeses
Sprinkle top with Granulated Garlic and Oregano (I added that too)
Bake in 350 oven about 15-20 minutes
Serve with bite sized pieces of bread

I doubled the recipe in a large round stone.  A brownie pan would work well.

Focaccia -Taken from Grit Country Skills Series "Guide to Homemade Bread" and Allison Martin

2 1/2 t. Yeast
2 1/2 C Water
2 T olive oil
About 7 C all-purpose flour
1/4 t. salt

Mix all ingredients in stand mixer for about 5-6 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.
Let dough rise 1 1/2 hours
Press dough into oiled pan.  I used my stone jelly roll pan.
Let rise 30 minutes
Dimple the dough w/ your fingertips all over
Brush with olive oil
Here's where I went off the recipe...I sprinkled the top with Kosher Salt, Granulated Garlic and Oregano
Let rise another 1 1/2 hours
Bake in 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes

Then because I needed something for breakfast, I made Jane's English Muffins!  You can find Jane's recipe HERE. 

This was a first for me too!  Jane must have known this was on my hit list and one of Pig Pens favorites!  These will be a goner!  And a KEEPER!  Is that possible??  I absolutely loved these!  P.S.  I used a fork!

Now that I am totally Carbohydrated up for a few days, I think I will try to incorporate some proteins or something else in my diet.  But alas, I love carbs so I think it should include something on a bun...Hmmm...wonder where that recipe will come from???

Thanks for sharing your great recipes...I'm having a blast here!


  1. Holy crap sis!! That is a LOT of bread!!! Addie finished her loaf this morning...with bed-head...sitting on the couch. She LOVES that you made her a special loaf that was all hers :-) I would like to try some of those english muffins next! They look YUMMY!!!

  2. Jen, I had to note the little hairs out of place cuz it was just too cute! And yes, English Muffins coming your way! You'll love them! I already have it in my new recipe box with a flag on it!

  3. I love that mini loaf pan. To cute. You really have been busy. But I don't see what you did with the bread thief. The short furry one who opens drawers? That animal must be going insane with the smells in your house. My husbands family is all straight from Italy and Foccaccia is really what they think of as pizza in their region. His family never put cheese on "pizza". It is all about the olive oil and herbs with maybe some sliced tomato. He didn't know you put cheese on Pizza until he was in his teens.

  4. Jane, since I don't have a bread oven yet, I love cooking with the stones even indoor.

    Hey, please share any recipes your hubby brought with him or if you already did, point me!

    Missy is busy hunting this week so I have the bread all to myself! Which is why I have eaten nearly nothing BUT bread!

  5. Wow, wow, WOW!!!! Amazing! Glad to hear that the bread turned out for you. :) And I'll be making foccacia and that pizza dip soon're making me hungry! And English muffins? You da man! I mean, da woman!!

  6. Pizza Dip! Fresh bread?! Wiiiiine! Chit chatting???? Yeeesss! Please!?

  7. Yum, yum, yum. I'm on carb overload myself but oh so good!!!

  8. Oh, oh, oh! Now I've REALLY got to get busy and try making Jane's English muffins! They look soooo good!

  9. MamaTea, yes and thank you for sharing I will be making it again! The pizza dip is really good and I hope you like it!

    Chels, whatever your wish while you are my command!

    Jan, now you can start making it at home too! That's the best part...fresh bread any time!

    MamaPea, you will not be sorry you tried them! Can't wait to hear if you do!!!

  10. WOW! I'm impressed! I started making our own bread a few months ago, but I admit I'm not very good at it, and I use the bread machine for mixing! There has been a few times I have had to go buy some because I just didn't have the time, but at least the kids like it when it's here! Once I have heard from them that other kids at the lunch table turned up their noses at the "non-Wonder bread" sandwiches my kids take in but it must not have bothered my kids too much. I would love making butter, but we don't have a source of unpasteurized milk around here.

  11. Erin, Pig Pen hasn't got to try any of the breads yet (hunting)...he's a Wonder boy too. So I am going to have to do up some white and slowly break him in.

    As to the unpasturized milk, I can't get any one to sell it to me. But I found this site:

    I used organic heavy whipping cream and followed her directions, adding just a very little bit of salt at the end and it was wonderful! Not something I would make always for cooking etc. but the hubs loves it on his bread and I will keep doing it for the holidays too. It really is pretty good! And easy! Messy, but easy. Not the old-fashioned way, but it worked up great!

  12. Thanks for the link! Definitely sounds like a good rainy day activity for the kids & I !!

  13. APG and Erin - Erin, your comment about your kids taking sandwiches made with your bread to school for lunch prompted me to share this.

    This past Sunday, we had a visit from our daughter's oldest friend (they met on the first day of kindergarten), her husband and two little kiddlies. (They currently live in the Twin Cities area.) C and I were sitting visiting while hubby and P were discussing the pitch of the roof he should put on the little getaway cabin they're building up here.

    Somehow we got on the subject of sandwiches and C said that she always envied and lusted after the lunches our daughter brought to school. They most often included a sandwich on chunky, homemade bread and other "weird" items (that our daughter sometimes wasn't too thrilled with) but I was determined to feed her only healthy, wholesome stuff. Anyway, it did my heart good to know that C thought those were the best, most wonderful lunches she'd ever seen.

    Bottom line: Keep making that good bread and yummy sandwiches for your boys!