when I decided to join the challenge, I didn’t think about October being one of the busiest months in our life lately. packing, working and having a life are exhausting things when all combined! Brent has been the victim of many crockpot meals and egg dishes lately… but one thing I am so looking forward to in my new home is cooking again!
I have always enjoyed food, and growing up family dinners were a huge part of our life. My mom home-made just about everything, and her granola and applesauce and savory suppers totally spoiled me. Creativity in the kitchen is just another aspect I discovered that I loved as Brent and I got married. I have found that one of my favorite things about my husband is that he shares this love of food. He grew up watching the Food Network and sitting on the counter, watching as his mom cooked. He is probably more well versed in “cooking lingo” than me, and definitely better with meat. Together, we make a good pair. 🙂
When people ask me what I like to cook, I never really know what to say, and usually just say “idk, everything?,” but lately I have been realizing that I do have favorites. I love quiches, and soups, and homemade pizzas-because I get to create, come up with new flavor combinations, decide what colors look good together (I do think of this when it comes to my food) and I don’t have to be constrained by a recipe. I also love to bake, specifically breads. I don’t know if this has to do more with my love for bread as an overall food group, or that I enjoy the challenge of succeeding at gourmet breads, and find warm golden loaves home-y, inviting, and beautiful.
in my kitchen
i feel alive
i feel creative
i feel inspired
i feel at rest
i feel at home.
Yesterday Brent and I got to be in the kitchen together again, preparing a yummy fall soup for dinner with friends. That morning I had baked some fresh loaves of my favorite french bread recipe, and together we created some delicious whipped butter with garlic and herbs. I want to share this bread recipe with you because I feel like it is the most forgiving of my recipes, and a great one to start with if you are interested in getting into baking! The butter is so simple, but so delicious on the bread! (a great flavor cover if your yeast doesn’t rise properly;)) and we used the leftover butter this evening to fry up some fresh brussel sprouts!
I hope you enjoy, and it’s so good to be back to sharing with you! I’ve missed it!
Forgiving French Bread
-makes TWO loaves!-
1/2 c. warm water
2 TBSP yeast (or two packets)
1/2 tsp sugar
2 c. warm water
2 TBSP olive oil (or vegetable)
2 TBSP sugar
2 tsp salt
5-6 cups flour depending on consistency
Using first three ingredients, dissolve the yeast and 1/2 tsp sugar in the 1/2 cup warm water. Allow to bubble for about 8 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix/knead for 10 minutes. I have found that timing with breads is actually important because mixing too much can make the dough tougher.
Allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Punch down, and then rise for another 30 minutes.
Form two loaves (I usually put one on each pan) and slize 5-6 knife marks in the top. If your dough is sticky, grease the knife.
Cover the loaves and allow to rise for 10 more minutes. Do not be alarmed if they don’t look that different.
Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt and cracked pepper.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. This is a very accurate time, at least for my oven.
Allow to cool before serving!
Garlic Herbed Butter
1 stick of butter
(Approximately )1 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary
1 TBSP chopped fresh basil
1 TBSP chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
This one is so easy it’s ridiculous! The key is the ingredients. Fresh herbs definitely make a difference, but I think you could change up what herbs you use! Throw the softened butter, herbs and spices into your mixer and beat until slightly fluffier consistency. Serve in a small dish garnished with herbs!