Jennifer is a one in a million stay-at-home mom. (More like one OF a million stay at home moms!) She graduated from a liberal arts college but there is nothing liberal OR artsy about her. She is married to Kevin Fischer of This Just In, and together they have a beautiful toddler daughter Kyla Audrey. In no particular order she loves dogs, wine, a good bargain, her family, pizza, and entertaining. Follow her blog of all things miscellaneous including but not limited to cooking and baking, entertaining and party planning, being a mommy, and homekeeping.
On more than one occasion I have blogged about how I enjoy easy-to-make bread recipes. One of my all-time favorites is from Real Mom Kitchen, a focaccia bread that never fails to disappoint. I love this bread because it is low-maintenance and requires no kneading. I need bread recipes like my cameras: idiot-proof and totally automatic.
Last Friday one of my favorite bloggers, Tidy Mom, wrote about her similar feelings on making fresh bread. She too has issues with traditional methods. Then she found an amazing recipe for artisan bread. Literally as I was reading her blog, my inbox flashed an email from Land O’Lakes for artisan bread! After reading both recipes and realizing how similar they are I convinced myself that it was time for me to try making “real” bread again.
Friday night I made the starter and Kyla was more than happy to help stir the flour mixture. I told her that everything would be extra tasty because of her. Who knows, perhaps that was the secret ingredient? All I can say is that Saturday morning was torture waiting for those two crusty loaves to cool enough to cut. The house smelled amazing while they were baking. They looked like they were supposed to look, not like a failed science experiment. Finally, FINALLY, I could take knife to crust and sample the fruits of my labor. I cut a piece for me & Kyla and one for Kevin. One bite was all we needed to declare it a winner.
What truly made me realize that it was a perfect recipe was Kevin’s ultimate compliment. He told me that I should talk to the owner of our favorite Italian restaurant, Casa DiGiorgio, about selling him loaves! If he thought my bread was restaurant-quality that was all I needed to hear.
One loaf was gone by Saturday afternoon. The next disappeared Sunday. The good, or not-so-good, news is that this bread is so incredibly easy I can almost always have some on hand. Oh goodness, help my hips!
A few of my thoughts and observations:
· The two recipes are similar in ingredients and techniques. I chose the L O’L recipe to start with because it made a smaller batch of dough.
· I don’t think any “fancy” tools are necessary as I used a wooden spoon and not a Swedish Dough hook as suggested. Nor did I have a cast iron baking pan and pizza peel.
· The bread bakes at 450º. My parchment paper was technically oven-safe to 425º. There was some browning and curling of the paper as a result but it did not alter the taste or appearance of the bread.
· I made two 10-inch loaves rather than one 16-inch loaf. They were easy to shape and maneuver onto the baking sheet. I’m not sure I’d have the same success with one large loaf. I may also try a round loaf shape to see what happens.
· When cut, my bread looked EXACTLY like the slice in the L O’L photo!
When you make this bread (and you know you will!) please leave a comment to tell me your experience. ENJOY! And my apologies to your hips as well.