Well I guess that the medicine I take has finally addled my brain. I had some pictures all resized and ready to post, but then completely forgot to post them. Mind they are not very good, I took them with the good ole point and shoot, as the sun was setting and I was trying to finish up supper. They don't do the bread justice either, it really is easy to make and it always turns out well for me.
This week is one of my favorite new bread recipes, well pretty much all my bread recipes are new, seeing as I am but a novice bread maker. At any rate, this one is pretty good. Have you ever been to the Macaroni Grill? This recipe makes a small loaf simmilar to what they serve, of course you have to factor that is freshly made as opposed to being mass produced and frozen, not to say that their bread is not spectacular, in fact it very much is.
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 1/2 cups bread flour
Once again bread making and getting bread to turn out like you want it, is all in the method. I have made and still make occasionally loaves that turn out TERRIBLE. Anyway, this one is pretty easy and I haven't had it turn south on me yet, knock on wood.
The first step is to add to put the yeast in your water, I like to go ahead and add alittle bit of the sugar to feed the yeast and let that sit for about ten minutes or so. It needs to be a bit frothy and and bubbly, if not throw it out and start again.
Next add the flour, salt, sugar and get to stirring. Once you get everything incorporated add the all the seasoning. A note, I usually use alittle bit less than a Tbsp of Rosemary, and it still turns out great. In fact I have let out most of the seasoning to try to get something closer to Italian bread, but the seasoning really makes a difference, and it makes the house smell, so, so good. Then go ahead and knead alittle bit while your dough is still in your mixing container. Then finally add the oil, you need to wait until as long as you can to add the oil because it will inhibit the gluten from properly forming and then woala , you get dense, flat bread that nobody would care to eat.
After everything is added turn your dough out onto a floured surface, I typically use the countertop, however, at some point I plan on buying a ceramic tile for this very purpose. It is my understanding they can be bought from flooring stores for a reasonable price. Then knead dough until smooth.
Next place your dough ball in an oil coated bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let that sit for about an hour in a nice warm spot. This is yet another wonderful thing about the warm weather here, it makes fixing bread so much easier.
Once the dough has roughly doubled in size, pat down and put on top of your baking sheet or stone. Cover you dough with a towel or more plastic wrap, I usually use a towel, and let that sit four about another hour or so. Next preheat your oven to 375 and bake you bread for about 30 minutes or until brown. I haven't tried it yet, but next time I make the bread, I plan on coating with an egg wash, that should give me a nice, shiny crust, but it is pretty stinkin good if you strickly follow the recipe.