This seems to be my mode of operation, doesn't it? I promise you things, such as, wasn't I supposed to razzle-dazzle you with a million pie crust recipes? Have I yet talked about what I baked for Christmas gifts (the ones I baked in January!)? No. And yet, you're still here! And for this, I owe you grand things, but, I've learned my lesson, and I am making no promises, just a hope and a really strong "I'll try".
Because here's the thing. We were really proud of how light we packed for our trip to Paris, but something smuggled itself over there with us, without our knowing it: a little baby! In my belly that is. As in (I'll get to the point sometime!): I'M PREGNANT!
And just now going into the second trimester. And, boy oh boy, was that first trimester a doozy. In talking with other women and new moms, I somehow feel like one of the last out there who experienced morning sickness non-stop for months. On top of that, I could not enter the kitchen, or try to prepare any food, without feeling nauseous. Not too convenient for a food blogger, but what could I do? Well, I slept a lot, ate what my kind husband cooked for me, day-dreamed about my future child, and wondered how many of you out there had given up on me.
My energy and appetite are coming back slowly. I've heard wonderful things about the second trimester, and hope they all hold true. If they do, I believe that the kitchen will once again become my good friend. And I can hopefully be a little more consistent with my posts. No promises, though!
from The Bread Machine Book by Marjie Lambert
That's right, this is a recipe for the bread maker! I love to knead bread, but sometimes it's nice to let a machine do all the work. For this recipe, you are only kneading and rising the dough in the bread maker, but you still get to shape and bake it in your oven (hello fresh-baked bread smells!).
1 cup water
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour
1 tbsp yeast (I use active dry yeast I buy in bulk, or sometimes Fleischmann's rapid rise bread machine yeast)
Put ingredients in bread pan in order suggested by your breach machine instructions (it's usually liquids, then salts, then flour, then yeast last).
Set machine to "Dough" setting. (In this setting my machine kneads the dough, and then gives it it's first rising. The total setting time takes 1-1/2 hours).
When finished, take dough out of bread pan. Sometimes I cut the dough into two pieces, sometimes I just make one big baguette.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into the size/shape you desire. To create surface tension, I'll bring one side over (lengthwise) and tuck it under the other side a few times.
Place on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal (I also line my sheet with parchment paper), cut a few diagonal slashes in the top of the loaf with a sharp knife, cover loosely, and let rise about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and back for about 20 - 25 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
*For a crustier bread, I will lightly spray water into the heated oven when baking begins, and one or two more times during baking.