So while I catch up on building chicken coops and writing books (and honestly, no cooking this week, poor family!!!) let's talk bread!
Ruthy here with cute baby pics!
Magdalena Ruth Jamison.... Welcome to the planet, darling!
I cannot get skinny when I bake fresh bread.
That is just the truth of the matter. There is something so mind-boggling, satisfyingly good about perfect bread, that we should stop all this Don't Eat Bread nonsense and act like real people for a change.
Having said that, we'll all be heavy and mad at ourselves, but this bread is amazing and worth it when you need a great dinner bread.
Take my simple White Bread Recipe that I use from Betty Crocker's Cook Book, older-than-the-hills edition:
3/4 cup very warm water
2 packets yeast (I use Rapid Rise in big packs, so I measure out about a tablespoon +)
Mix in big mixing bowl.
2 2/3 cup water
3 Tablespoons of shortening
1 tablespoon of salt
1/4 cup sugar
5 cups bread flour (high gluten flour. Go big or stay home, right???) You can also make this wirh all purpose flour, but I buy the 25 lb. bags at Sam's Club.
Beat on low, then on medium for about 4 minutes, until batter is s-m-o-o-t-h.
Add 4 cups of flour. Change beater to dough hook. Mix in on low and let the mixer knead this heavy dough for you.
If kneading by hand, knead for at least five minutes, plotting stories as you go. Hand-kneading is GREAT therapy if you're like really mad at someone. I'm not even kidding! :)
Grease the inside of a large bowl (I use the same one I mixed in.) Put kneaded dough in bowl, then flip it to make sure all surface areas are lightly greased. Cover with towel and let rise until double. (Now, if you're using rapid rise yeast, you can actually let it rise a little, then form your loaves, and let them rise double... Your choice.)
Once the dough is risen, punch it down, separate it into three equal lumps and you'll need three 8" x 4" loaf pans, lightly greased or sprayed with cooking spray.
Roll one section of dough out to about a 9" x 12" rectangle, give or take. Then this is what you're going to have on hand: Shredded Asiago cheese, Italian seasoning, Granulated garlic, salt and I sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the top. I buy the Asiago in a wheel or half-wheel and I cut it up into wedges and throw them in a freezer bag. Then when I need one, I just grab one out, defrost it in the microwave for about 40 seconds, and it's perfect for shredding!
Roll out dough:
I brush the tops with olive oil, then I sprinkle Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and Parmesan cheese on top. Press lightly.
Bake at 400° for about 30 minutes, depending on size of pans. Bigger pans might take 40 minutes. The smell of your house right now, with this bread cooking is amazing. If you're going to sell your house, ever, make sure this bread is cooking while people come to look. Yes, they will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars because it smells this good.
Bread should have golden bottom crust and sound a little "hollow" when tapped.... Remove from oven, turn out bread onto wire racks and brush all surfaces with butter while warm (This helps seal bready-gooness in and it doesn't stale so quickly)
I sell this on my produce stand... but mostly I eat it.
And my family eats it.
And it's so good.
That's all I'm sayin', how blessed are we to live in a place so filled with good things???? Crazy blessed!
And here's Elijah, meeting his baby sister for the first time:
And here is a sweet glimpse at a marvelous book duo:
And here's a sweet look at my upcoming release, the long-awaited third book of the Double S Ranch series.... "Peace in the Valley"....
I love the cover.... and I love the story even more. Come join me for some country and western talk.... #mustlovecowboys!