Hi, while my computer is in the capable hands of the Geek Squad, my sister Karen takes over at the wheel with her adventures in food blog cooking. Take it away, Karen!
While Jennifer’s computer is recovering from its ailment, I thought my sister might be interested in a “guest blogger” entry. I can’t promise to be nearly as witty and interesting as Jennifer, who in my eyes has “younger sibling” traits of wit and creativity. (Yes, I’m female and admitting to being the older one.) But anyway, the other night as I was cooking, I took some pictures when I realized both the recipes I was using were from two of my favorite blogs (after Bread and Putter of course!): The Pioneer Woman and The Ivory Hut.
Ms. Hut shared a recipe for homemade bread that looked so delicious and easy, I just had to try it. It’s true, it was about the easiest bread I’ve ever made. No kneading involved, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s a good thing. Like Ivoryhut, I’d always longed for a homemade bread with the nice, crispy crust. Everything I’ve tried with my bread machine has come out just “aw-ight.” And using that heavy, counter-space grabbing behemoth just to make the dough that I’d still have to bake later just never seemed worth the trouble. This recipe? Mix some yeast, water, salt and flour just until combined and let it sit there. After it rises, shape it and let it sit a little more. Then bake. Here it is, in my really dirty oven (no, I don’t unfortunately have a self-cleaning one. It is, however, a gas, wall-mounted double-oven which you gotta love when the holidays roll around or just when you have two things you want to bake at different temperatures), just to prove I did this myself.
The things that make this bread come out so nicely are two things you see in my dirty oven: the pizza stone and the broiler pan. Both pre-heat with the oven for 20 minutes. After you put the bread on the pizza stone, you dump a cup of water into the broiler pan and close the oven up quick to keep the steam that is immediately created inside the oven. After a mere 40 minutes, this is your yummy result:
This is actually the second loaf I’ve made from Ivoryhut’s recipe. I made a loaf last weekend and just stuck the leftover dough in the fridge. Around noon this past Sunday, I pulled it out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter all afternoon. It rose throughout the day, then I shaped it shortly before putting it in the oven. After re-reading Ivoryhut’s directions, I realized I should have let it sit again after I shaped it, but dinner time was on the way so I just stuck it in the oven anyway. And guess what? It worked just fine and tasted delicious. Ivoryhut mentioned that the longer you let this dough sit, the more of a sourdough flavor it acquires. I did notice a bit of a sourdough scent to the dough the other day, but it didn’t really have much of a sourdough taste – which was fine with me.
The other recipe I made was P’Dub’s Meatball Soup. Meatball soup? I originally thought when I first read this post, that sounds a little odd. But odd it was not. My husband ate two-plus servings of it, so I’m thinking its a keeper. I didn’t even try to get my picky (that’s an understatement) younger daughter to try this, and my older daughter was at the boyfriend’s house for dinner (more admission of my age – I’ve got a daughter old enough to have a boyfriend! Ugh!) so I don’t have additional opinions on this recipe, but I say it was just right for a winter supper. This recipe was definitely more hands-on than Hut’s bread, but I had the help of hubby sous-chef so it really didn’t seem like too much effort. Hubby chopped the veggies for me…
…while I browned the meatballs (which he actually had formed for me while I was busy with another task).
Then it was just a matter of simmering. Amazingly enough, both bread and soup were ready to eat at the same time. This combination of blogger recipes was just the thing for a lazy Sunday afternoon and satisfying supper.