Fresh Bread

10 Oct

This morning Nick and I had a great time watching the runners competing in the Chicago Marathon!  Because Lincoln Park is relatively early in the marathon course, we were back home by 10am and ready to get started on our Sunday errands.  We hit the grocery store nice and early and were home by lunch.

Apparently I was exhausted when we got home!  I think this was due in part to the cold I have coming on and in part to the lack of catch-up sleep I got this weekend.  I promptly fell asleep on the couch and took a nice 2 hour nap.  While I was napping, Nick went out to get a sports massage so I was left alone with Izzie and Beanie.  When I woke up I was a little loopy, and came up with this brilliant idea.

Peanut butter nose!

I had a snack with peanut butter to try to wake myself up a bit, and decided to share with Izzie.  In the cruelest way possible.

She tried and tried…

And tried some more…

And finally, after lots of laughs from me, she found the nutty butter!

Once Izzie and I finished up our laugh fest, we got to work on part of tonight’s dinner.  A homemade baguette!

We used the following recipe, from Food(dot)com.

Ingredients:

1 packet active dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 1/2 c water

4 – 4 1/2 c flour

2 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Heat water to 105-115 degrees and pour in yeast and sugar.  Let sit for 5 minutes until frothing.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in 2 cups flour until incorporated.

You may then accidentially dump some flour on your canine sous chef’s head, if you wish…

Then stir in remaining 2 cups flour and salt until a dough forms.  Knead the dough for 8 minutes, incorporating any remaining flour to keep it from sticking.  Cover in an oiled bowl and let rise for 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down dough, form into loaf, and let rise uncovered for 30 minutes.

Make 4-5 diagonal slits in the loaf and brush with cool water.  Cook at 475 for 30 minutes.

* The trick to perfect bread: While preheating the oven, place a dutch oven full of water inside.  Leave in the oven while bread is cooking.  This creates a moist environment in the oven, and allows for a crunchy crust and soft middle.

 

Since our oven is so hot, our bread was finished 20 minutes later.

We paired the bread with our leftover homemade pasta and a tomato sauce from Giada’s Everyday Italian.

The sauce was simple and delicious, and the bread had a perfect crunchy outside and pillowy middle.  We enjoyed the bread dipped in oil and aged balsamic from Old Town Oil.

We were so excited that our entire dinner was homemade!

Now I am off to drink up a nice hot mug of theraflu and fall asleep to the Real Housewives finale!

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