Monday, August 23, 2010

Home made bread in a Jiffy

I don't have any kids but if I did, here is a recipe that would be great to start before picking them up from school and to put in the oven as soon as returning home so that by the time hands are clean and school bags are put away, a nice loaf of freshly baked bread is on the table.

Let's face it, home made bread just tastes SO MUCH better than store bought! Yes it's possible, yes it's true. You probably wouldn't eat an entire loaf of Italian bread when you buy it from the store, but if all that love and time went into your little loaf, the loaf will be gone before sunrise.

Mix about 500g of flour (can be white, or a mixture whith whole wheat), 5g of instant yeast, a half tbsp of salt and enough water to moisten the dough but not to make it sticky (this varies based on climate, temperature, altitude, etc)
If you have a mixer, use the bread hook on low speed until the dough starts to climb up the hook and peel from the sides.
If you are kneading it by hand, poke the dough. If it springs back, it's ready!

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap so the dough doesn't dry out and crust.

Allow the dough to rest for about one hour or as long as it takes for you to go pick up your kids, go to the hairdresser, the store, or whatever it may be.

Preheat the oven to 425F. Punch the dough down once or twice to release excess gas and then shape to desired shape or place in pan.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped from underneath.

Allow to cool a little and enjoy with some nice spread, butter, jam... the possibilities are endless!

This recipe was adapted from the original Pao com Chourico form my aunt Graca's Bakery 'Pão d'Avó Graça' in Lourinha, Portugal. The traditional Pao com Chourico is my favorite bread. The flavor of the chourico penetrates the dough in the most amazing way. The possibilities are endless for this bread. You can add anything you want to it, the sky's the limit.

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