Thursday, January 14, 2010

basics...homemade bread

2 cups lukewarm water
1-2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
5-6 cups flour
2 tsp salt
1-2 Tbsp softened butter

Pour warm water into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add sugar. Sprinkle in yeast. Do not stir. Let sit about 10 min until yeast is dissolved and bubbly. Add 5 cups of flour, salt and butter. Mix until combined. Knead, adding 1/2 -1 cup more flour if necessary. Shape dough into a ball, cover and let rise until double in size (1-3 hours depending on warmth of location). Punch dough down and divide into two equal pieces and place into greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise again until double. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 min. Remove from oven, let sit in pans for a few minutes. Take yummy warm bread out of pans and smother with butter and honey or jam or cinnamon sugar, etc.

Oh my, oh my. I have to say in the world of homemade bread it doesn't get much better than this. It is easy, relatively quick and so, so good. I got this delicious recipe from my friend, Christie. For a much better (and more entertaining) tutorial click here. Thanks really know how to speak my language.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

basics...the baked potato

baking potatoes (russets)
olive oil
kosher salt or garlic salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Scrub potatoes thoroughly and pat dry. Prick each potato with a fork a few times. Rub each potato with olive oil (the amount is up to you, just don't over do it) and sprinkle with choice of salt and pepper.
Place on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 40-60 min, or until tender. Let sit a minute or two and make a slit across the top of each potato and push ends together to open nicely. Top with butter and sour cream...and anything else that sounds good.

Sometimes the simplest, most basic things are the BEST! These potatoes are so versatile. A baked potato bar makes a great meal. The skin gets nice and crisp and's almost better than the insides!