Monday, January 9, 2012
I've come a long way in the kitchen since sophmore year of high school when my mom started working nights and my dad and I were left to our own devices to make wholesome family dinners. Our first dinner I cooked for us together was a pan seared chicken (yeah this sounds fancy and all, but too thick a chicken in too small a pan led to almost salmonella poisoning)..okay, we didn't get sick from that dinner but I also don't remember how it finally got cooked --something tells me a microwave was involved after a frustrating stint standing over a pan for what seemed like forever.
I'm confident now preparing meats and poultry, pasta and sauces, vegetables and dips. I always shied away from recipes involving dry active yeast, "proofing" dough (whatever that was supposed to mean) and any involving a time frame of over an hour. What can I say, patience--not a virtue I was born with.
So here I meet 2012 and a bucket list of things to accomplish (most involving new adventures in the kitchen), and making break sans bread machine is staring me in the face. After a lengthy stare down and quick walk to the store we were in business to make rosemary italian bread--a recipe including both a 3 hour time frame AND active dry yeast. I couldn't be happier with the results.
The bread was crispy on the outside, tender and flavorful on the inside, and impressive enough to give as gifts or serve to dinner guests. I modified this recipe and used regular old all purpose flour in place of the bread flour, added 2 cloves of grated garlic, put all two tablespoons of rosemary into the dough and topped the loaf with coarse ground sea salt and black pepper. Paired with a husband at home and a full queue on netflix, we had the perfect afternoon to snack before hosting some friends for dinner.
*note: almost of all of the recipes I make are not 100% original. Most have been modified from published recipes from cookbooks, magazines, websites, and blogs. Some have been completely modified with little in common to the original, others only slightly modified for a variety of reasons. I do not in anyway claim to have been the original creator of any posted recipes unless otherwise noted.