The New Old Fashioned Life...
I think that is, what is happening. So many things are wonderful about an old fashion life, like time together (without TV or ?), eating together (instead of over the sink), cooking the food you eat (no membership in those take it home places), and a whole host of other old fashion ways, thoughts and simple stuff that suits your own family. Which is why we reminisce about years ago, in so many ways we want some of that today. Like homemade bread.
So lets talk bread, shall we?
For years I avoided purchasing a bread machine. Why? Well the list is quite long actually, but here goes and I request you not judge me too harshly.
1. I know how to knead, and some days I like to knead. It is great for tension relief.
2. I have a kitchen aid mixer with dough hook, for those times I don't need tension relief!
3. I considered myself an old fashion cook, and therefore WHY would I have one?
4. I am stubborn and I had already declared my status of being an old fashion cook, and couldn't change now.
5. Years ago a co-worker brought AMB bread to share, I did not think it was different from store bought bread.
6. Yet I can be wrong, and I was. I have a bread machine now.
Why the change? As I was baking bread I noticed that with the kids married and gone from the dinner table my recipes were out of date. I had stale bread coming out my ears or riding on my hips. Neither place is the right place for bread, by the way. I have been know to purchase specialty baking items from the King Arthur Flour company and I came across the page in the catalog that displayed their stock of bread machines. Being the old fashioned cook that I am, decided to simply turn the page and get on to the serious purchases that I needed, when I spotted it. The line...Why you should purchase a bread machine.
Oh yeah, I thought, really? But I read why, and they were........well they were right. I did not purchase from KAF, instead I purchased the machine I still own today (9+years) on sale at a local store. I was impressed with the machines KAF offered, but what did I know about baking in a bread machine anyway, and honestly felt I should go frugal to begin the journey. This is the line that sold me on a bread machine.
"The perfect kitchen machine to mix, knead and bake a single perfect loaf of bread". Or words to that effect, remember it was 9 plus years ago.
There it was in print, before my eyes, ready for me to take the information in and use it accordingly.
A single perfect loaf of bread, just what I was looking for. A way to make bread and not have it come out my ears or ride my hips! And thus began my partnership with the AMB.
I do not bake in the bread machine. I prefer the additional rise of the dough, after the dough cycle has ended. This allows a shaping of the dough that is what you need for the meal you are serving the bread with. I found personally the pan shape in the AMB was not what I was after, most of the time. I also think the additional rise adds flavor to the finished product. Plus you can start with refrigerated eggs and milk and the dough cycle will warm everything perfectly. However baking in the machine is perfectly acceptable.
Scallion, Parsley and Cheddar Bread
adapted from, The bread Machine Cookbook II
1 c water or whey
2 T butter
1 c sliced scallions, I chop through the sliced scallions to make smaller pieces
1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, prepared
1 1/2 t garlic salt
2 T sugar or 1 T for water if you prefer
1/4 t black pepper
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
2 c flour
2 1/2 t (scant T) yeast
1 c grated sharp cheddar for second step
To prepare the parsley, wash, drain, pluck and squeeze.
Roll leaves in the towel, twist in opposite directions, loop and secure with a rubber band. You want to control all the liquid in bread machine produced dough. Any extra water left behind could affect your dough and the outcome of the finished loaf.
Load ingredients into machine in order listed. Press dough cycle. When cycle is complete, remove dough from machine, press into a rectangle of approximate 9X13 size, sprinkle with the cheddar.
I prefer working from a shallow rimmed pan, it keep the working area small. Flour does not go everywhere, and keeps the clean up, to just a few items.
Roll dough up starting at the corner, you will get a rustic free form loaf. Transfer dough to large flat baking sheet, cover with a clean towel. let rise until double in size. The final rise goes quickly, if your house is a bit cool, just find a warm spot. This final rise time should be between 30-45 minutes, depending upon conditions.
When dough is doubled, slash in a diamond pattern (does not show real well in this photo) and add a little trail of cheese. This is step is completely optional, and simply for presentation.
Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees 10 minutes, reduce to 350 degrees and continue baking 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool, and serve your family with pride.
As always thanks so much for taking the time to stop for a visit.
I appreciate your time and your comments!
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Key words: bread, bread machine, cheddar cheese, bread stories