Earlier this month my friend Shannon invited me to a new project that she and Amy had been working on. Its all about friends sharing recipes and favorite foods. Even though I love to cook, I’d never count myself as an expert. But, I’m always up for a creative challenge and I’m looking forward to learning more about photographing food and collecting some new recipes along the way! If you followed the link to my blog from Baked Bree, she’s one of my very very very favorite food bloggers, and my first though when I heard of this project is that I’d have to find a favorite recipe that didn’t come from her blog! My tiny kitchen is very cozy, its one of my favorite rooms in our home and I’m grateful to have just the right amount of space to work with. But, its definitely not the most spacious place to photograph a project and for some of these photos I had to wedge myself between the stove and shelves to get the right angle! Still, tiny kitchen or no, I love feeling like I can show my family and friends how much they mean to me with what I make for them and I can’t wait to see what the other girls in this group are sharing from their kitchens this month! This month we all pulled together recipes that can be used for a Thanksgiving feast. Join us on the first of each month as this diverse group of food lovers share their favorite recipes, tips and tricks inspired by the seasons. We are calling our project Lazy Susan.
I’m contributing french bread from a recipe I got from my mom. I’m a major bread aficionado so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this recipe after I ate this bread on my last visit home.Its soft and perfect on the inside and just the right amount of toasty on the outside. Bonus that is only calls for a few ingredients! This recipe makes two loaves and its best a few hours out of the oven or the second day after its made. You can also wrap it and freeze it if you wanted to make it ahead of time for a special meal.
When you finish browsing through this recipe, click over to Shannon Harrison because I know she’s contributing a dessert recipe! If you follow the links on each blog, you’ll gain lots of new ideas for Thanksgiving and end up right back here.
In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, the yeast and salt. Stir in 2 cups of warm water and beat until well blended. Next, mix in as much of the remaining flour as you can. I combined 3.5 more cups of flour using a wooden spoon.The original recipe calls for using a stand mixer with a dough attachment for the first part but since I don’t have a stand mixer like this one (hint, hint) I just mixed with a regular mixer and then a wooden spoon and everything was fine.
Pour a little olive oil in the bottom of the bowl you’ve warmed up before you place the dough into the bowl. Turn the dough over once to coat it and then cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
Punch the dough down and divide in half. Move the two halves back to a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half into a large rectangle, or if you think like me, conceptual rectangle-ish shape. Roll up from the long side. When you are at the end, moisten the edge with water and seal, taper the ends.
Grease a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Turn on the oven to pre-heat to 375 degrees.
If you forget to buy cornmeal, wing it and put down some parchment paper on the large baking sheet. Place the loaves, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, make several diagonal cuts about 1/4 of an inch deep across the top of each loaf. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 Tbsp of water and brush the mixture on top. Cover with a damp close and let rise until the loaves double in size. This takes about 35-45 minutes.
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Remove the bread and brush the tops again with the egg white and water mixture. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. If it seems like the tops are getting too brown, you can cover the loaves with foil loosely.
Once the bread is finished, let it cool completely before cutting. This bread tastes best at least a few hours from baking and perfect the next day. If your family will only eat one loaf during that time, wrap the second one and freeze it and you’ll have fresh bread for another meal. See those two little end pieces hiding behind the bowl. If you eat those right after you slice up the bread to serve, no one will ever know they existed and you’ll have a little reward for all you hard work before you sit down for supper. Enjoy!