Saturday, February 9, 2013

Rustic Country Breakfast

Snow days call for an extra special breakfast. With more than 12 inches on the ground, I'm in for a good bit of shoveling this morning and needed something hearty. My favorite breakfast, which I'm pretty sure I've inherited from my father, is eggs, bacon and toast, with a glass of black coffee and orange juice. Unlike my father though, I add veggies and cheese to the meal.

This morning I toasted 2 pieces of homemade bread, scrambled eggs 1 egg and 2 egg whites with peppers, spinach and tomatoes, and baked bacon. 

Yep, BAKED BACON! AMAZING! This is probably the whole reason I'm writing this post... to share my discovery of baked bacon. I've seen it all over Pinterest, heard about it via the Food Network, but never tried it. Well, I'm here to say I should have tried it sooner because it is beyond incredible!

It melts in your mouth, crumbles beautifully and tastes delicious, plus it has no fatty pieces to throw away. And it's super simple. Heat the oven to 400˙, put the bacon on an edged cookie sheet or in a casserole dish, bake for 20 minutes (or until done). I like to empty the grease out of the pan then continue to bake it for another 5 minutes. Place it on a paper towel to absorb any extra grease. It's that simple! You can of course replace the bacon with turkey bacon, however I have not tested the baking bacon with turkey bacon. If you do, let me know how it turns out. Enjoy and Happy Eating!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Bread Baking

This morning all I wanted was fresh bread. Like the kind you get at your local family owned bakery... but I didn't want to spend $10. So I took to Pinterest to find the 'perfect' recipe. Unfortunately, it's a lot harder to find such a recipe. Many recipes are super easy, no-kneed, using 3-4 ingredients but required 12-14 hours to rise. Although I had 12-14 hours, my stomach and taste buds were only willing to wait 3 hours at most.

I finally found a recipe that was faster, but made 2 loaves... and I, being one person, only needed one loaf. So I made some amendments, tested it, and, if I may say so myself, turned out wonderfully!

1 1/2 cups of warm water
1 packet of fast acting yeast
3 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar

Add the yeast to the water... let sit for a few minutes. 
Do NOT use HOT water, or you will kill the yeast.

Mix the flour, salt and sugar together

Add the yeast and water, mix slowly and carefully, folding as you go.
Try hard not to over mix, or the bread will end up tough.

After about 10-15 turns, it should look like this.

Cover for 2 hours. I like to take a towel, wet it, microwave it for 30 seconds and place it on top of the mixing bowl. It provides the bread with a warm place to rise.

This is after 1 hour of rising. 1 more hour to go!

Flour a surface (I used a baking sheet) and lightly flour your hands to keep the dough from sticking to them. After the dough has sat for 2 hours, pull it out of the mixing bowl, form it into a round (No Kneeding!), cut a few lines into it and pre-heat the oven to 450˙.
Put the pot in the oven while you pre-heat it. This will help give the bread a crunchy crust and bake faster. When the oven is ready, take the pot out (careful, it's HOT!), lightly grease it with Pam, sprinkle a little flour into it, then place the dough into the pot. It's okay if it loses shape or the lines cut into it. Put the lid and bake it!

Bake for 30-35 minutes (I suggest 35 minutes). When it's done, remove the lid and let it sit for a few minutes.

Pull it out of the pot and let it continue to cool on a cooling rack.

The bottom of the bread

Enjoy with olive oil, butter, or just plain!

Feel free to share... Photos are original, please give credit to Jeanne Marie, ApronStringstoDiamondRings
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