I love to make bread.Â It is a relaxing, yet useful hobby.
I was thrilled when I discoveredÂ Artisan Bread in FiveÂ Minutes a Day.
The recipes are simple and straight forward.Â You can mix up your flours to include what you happen to have on hand.Â For those who really want to get creative, you can also add in shredded cheeses, olives, sunflower seeds, fresh herbs……the possibilities are endless!
Unless you live in a household of picky eaters like I do.Â ThenÂ you threaten them with their lives and tell them to just pick. out. what. you. don’t. like.
The one issue I had was that the baking instructions included using a pan of hot water (for steam, which creates the chewy crust) and a clay baking/pizza pan.
Steam and clay aren’t the best of friends, and it wasn’t long before my baking stone shattered.Â grrr.Â Plus getting the loaf of beautifully risen bread onto the hot baking stone was a bit ofÂ a pain.
So imagine my sheer joy when I stumbled across this simple fix over at An Oregon Cottage.
Next to cheap, simple is one of my all time favorite words. (Healthy Parker would are my top two favorite words.)
Instead of a baking stone you can use a hot enamel clad dutch oven to bake your bread in.
Holy amazingness Batman.
Simply let your bread rise on a cookie sheet covered in a piece of parchment paper. Then using opposite corners of the parchment paper, pick up the whole loaf and plop it into your HOT dutch oven and then into your HOT oven.
An Oregon Cottage has already shared all the indepth directions, so I won’t re-invent the wheel over here.
But let me tell you, the bread comes out perfect. I kid you not. I am in lurrrve.
I like to make HUGE batches of dough at one time. I then cut off what I want and put the rest into the fridge. The longer it stays in the fridge the more of a sourdough taste the bread gets. Yum.
One of the things I like the most about throwing in a loaf of bread each day is that fresh bread can even make something as simple as a grilled cheese sandwich seem gourmet.
And while I know you can purchase loaves of artisan bread at Kneaders or even the grocery store, when I make it myself, especially when I use ingredients from my food storage, a loaf costs me hardly anything!
Cheap being one of my favorite words, remember?
Here’s one of our family’s new favorites for making sandwiches with my homemade bread:
Slow Cooker Italian Beef for Sandwiches (from allrecipes.com)
3 cups water
1t salt or to taste ( I used sea salt)
1t ground black pepper
1t dried oregano
1t dried basil
1 t onion salt (I used fresh onions sliced into rings)
1 t dried parsley
1t garlic powder ( I used minced fresh)
1 bay leaf
1 .7 ounce package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix.
1 (5 lb) rump roast
Combine water with seasonings and salad dressing mix in a saucepan. Stir well, and bring to a boil.
Place roast in a slow cooker, and pour salad dressing mixture over the meat. (Smith’s just had a KILLER deal on rump roasts.)
Cover and cook on LOW for 10-12 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours. When done, remove bay leaf, and shred meat with a fork.
And while this is cooking you may want to make sure your will is in order.Â Cause just one bite, and you will think you have died and gone to heaven.