I love family. I love learning. I love food. This is simply a collection of thoughts, memories, and recipes that are a piece of me!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Italian Loaf.

You know that moment when you realize your Pinterest addiction caused you to burn your bread that was baking?

Yeah.  Me, too.

I wanted to share this anyway because it's still so good...we just won't look at the bottom of the loaves.

So I've posted this link before with the bread recipe I always use. It's very simple, and it's very yummy, but sometimes I just need....more.

I'm sure Bird could attest to how difficult that makes me at times.

Tonight for dinner, I'm making lasagna (which I'm doubling the recipe, packaging it, and freezing half for another day) but I wanted some bread to go along with it.  Since our grocery budget for the week is maxed, I opted to make some, but the basic bread just wasn't doing it for me.  I decided today, I'd go for an Italian-inspired carb.

I started with my normal recipe, but instead of vegetable oil, I used pure olive oil.  This will change the flavor, but not drastically.  I also added about a tablespoon and a half of dried Italian seasoning.

Instead of putting the loaves in loaf pans, I free-handed them onto some parchment paper to have more of a rustic feel.  I covered them, let them rise, and then brushed a layer of olive oil on top.

Now here is where I did a step that I've discovered I truly love doing when I'm making bread that I want to be crusty yet chewy.

I preheated my oven to 400, taking care to make sure it was completely heated.  Then, I placed the bread in on the top rack, all the way to the back.  I filled a bowl with about 5 cups of ice cubes.  After I put the bread in, I threw the ice cubes directly onto the bottom of the oven.  IMMEDIATELY close the oven door and DO NOT open it again until you can smell the bread.  Reduce the temp to 350, and it will bake for half an hour or so.

As soon as it comes out of the oven, butter up the top crust.

This bread is so good.  Totally worth the bit of extra work, but really took me no less time in all than running to the store would have!

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