Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rise Up!

I'd love to have some insightful verbiage concerning standing up for oneself or speaking out against injustice here, but I'm talking about YEAST. Let it rise!

I think I'm over my fear of baking with yeast.

There's something about not having had a paycheck for three months that makes a chick go into Frugal Mode. This includes baking my own bread.

I have a bread machine that puts out some pretty good loaves of bread, but all summer long, I've been mulling over getting down and dirty in the kitchen again and creating bread with my two plump hands. I'm a good cook and a passable baker. However, last year is sort of a blur with the exception of the knowledge that my family ate out WAY TOO MUCH because I was always so exhausted and spent after working. A great deal of that is related to the health issues I had. Now that I'm finally feeling more like myself again, my ass is cooking.

I found what appeared to be a simple recipe for dough - for use in making foccacia. I'm a bread whore through and through. If I had to go with two foods for the rest of my life they would be good bread and better cheese. You know I don't hold back so I'll soothe your first thought after reading "cheese" and let you know that for whatever reason, I never have a problem with constipation after eating copious amounts of cheese. It's all good in my intestines. (You always get a little more than you bargained for when ya come here!)

I made the foccacia the other night to rave reviews from both Butter and my Pack Mule.

It's around 95 degrees here today and humid. And nasty. And gross. Even Butter doesn't want to venture outside. Heat like this incites riot with his asthma. So. We baked. Take a gander. If anyone wants to come visit, we're here for the duration and will cook until your eyes turn blue and you begin wondering if stretchy pants aren't such a bad fashion invention after all.

Butter was ready to go!

See how proud he is in his red apron? I had to jimmy-rig it so that he wasn't dragging it on the ground. This baby came from an Italian cooking school my Mom attended a few years ago.

We proofed the yeast. See? Is that bowl of puffy, bubbly goodness beautiful or what?
Butter was so excited to be able to mix the flour and yeast mixture once I made certain that I wouldn't have flour all over the place. See that backgound? Yeah. My Pack Mule installed the tumbled marble backsplash as well as the stamped copper stuff behind the stove. I shall keep him around for a while.
Butter helped me knead the dough. He is a PRO.


Ready to rise. Glistening with oil. In one of my very favorite stainless steel bowls.


Ahhh. Yes. Come to mama. This is the first foccacia we made the other night. Sea salt, dried herbs, freshly-grated Parmesan, and lovely olive oil.


Today's foccacia was spartan - sea salt, dried oregano and basil, and a teensy bit of butter on top of the bread after I pulled it from the oven.

This was covered with provolone and dried herbs.

7 comments:

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

oh you meanie you...bread is one of those nono's for me and i love it so much..there is just something so wonderful about a home that smells like fresh baked bread..and look at that boy kneading that dough..he's going to make a great baker some day...wish i was there.

Big Pissy said...

OMG! That bread looks AMAZING!!!!

Love all the pictures! Your Pack Mule did a great job on your kitchen. What I can see of it looks fabu! :)

So Not Wishy Washy said...

Hell, Jac, I wish you were here too! Come up whenever! I'm serious. We have plenty of room. I'd say bring Annie, but I doubt she and Ranger would get along. Gah! But think about coming up this fall. We'd love to have you. I'll bake bread, you can put your feet up, and we'll put you on the school pick-up list so you can have lunch with Robert at school and pick him up if you like! Let me know.

Pissy, you are too kind! The bread? Amazing stuff, I tell ya. And simple. I want to have a bread party. *snicker* I willlet my Pack Mule know you admire his mad skillz!

Not Afraid to Use It said...

We are such soul sisters. I don't make focaccia very often because we eat the entire pan. Damn, woman. That last one with the cheese is KILLING me!

Not Afraid to Use It said...

Oh, and by the way? Hubbie and I are totally drooling over your floors.

Honib1 said...

uhmmmm.. sniff.. I think Butter's hands are the same size as mine.. yep.. I think so..

amber said...

The bread looks amazing and Butter is damn cute in that apron!

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