I am SO excited to have baked my first ever loaf of bread yesterday. So so very excited, that I consumed more than half of it and a thin slice of my friend’s, right there, at the kitchen counter.
Let me take a step back and give a shout out to our local Buy Nothing group. Our Cambridge group is fabulous. I am a huge fan of the gift economy. But more than that I love that the Buy Nothing Project helps build community. I like to say it’s my village. Yes I’ve given a lot things away to many members of this group (it’s a necessary cleansing process for me which by the way is also great for organization). Yes, I’ve run successful donation drives for women’s shelters, children’s clothes and animal rescues. I also got a lot for my own household- from kid’s toys to brand-new office chairs for my husband to laundry detergent! These community moms gave Brownie medicine when we ran out and give us company for play dates. One of them taught me to fix car seats and couple others taught me to wrap baby carriers. Most recently, one of them taught me to make bread.
Mine is the left most one- not the prettiest but would you pardon me if I say that the brown oozing thing is melty, spicy cheddar cheese?
Let’s get to it then. This is my Buy Nothing friend- Karen’s recipe and this is what I did:
- Heated 1cup of water (per loaf) to 100-110F
- Added 1 tsp sugar and 1 tbsp yeast and let sit for 5 minutes (it should bubble some)
- Added 1 tsp salt and 1 tbsp olive oil (or sesame or mustard), and 1 cup of flour and mixed. I kept adding flour 1/2 cup at a time and mixing until stiff (not sticky anymore). Ideally your total amount of flour should be 3-3.5 cups, I think I barely did 2.5. Please note don’t have a stand mixer (maybe should check on Buy Nothing).
- Took out the dough out and knead into a tight smooth ball. (Should have made it tighter and smoother). Covered and rest for 30 minutes (or until dough doubles in size).
- Rolled out in a rectangle about 1/3-1/2 inch thick. Spread cheese, herbs (or your inclusions, options below*). I used jalapeño cheddar with raisins and chives. Then rolled and placed on greased cookie sheet, seam side down. Pour oil on top, made slits (mine were initially not deep enough and then they were too deep so the cheese came out). Sprayed (or brush) oil to the top of loaf (maybe even sprinkle some sesame or mustard or poppy seeds). Let sit for 1 hour.
- Baked at 425F for 20 minutes. Took out, brushed with oil and baked for another 5.
- Then took out, barely waited for it to cool, sliced and hogged!
For my future loaves here’s what I think I’m going to include:
- Roasted tomatoes & fresh basil
- Tomatoes & pesto (omit the oil when using pesto)
- Dill & olive
- Rosemary, Olives and olive oil
- Mustard seeds and mustard oil (my mom says it won’t taste that good- we’ll see)
- Sesame seeds and sesame oil
- Poppy seeds
- Raisins and cinnamon
- Sunflower seeds & rosemary
- Rosemary, thyme, oregano, 4 blend cheese
What would you add to this already awesome recipe?
All of today’s loaves have 3cups of flour per loaf.
In addition, this one has dark chocolate chips, raisins and cinnamon powder.