Monday, December 31, 2012

The Only Bread Recipe You'll Ever Need

Thank God for Pinterest! And bread.
Especially bread.

I'm not sure if I ever mentioned it (and I'm clearly missing an "About me/us" tab) but I'm a German mail-order bride Expat living in sunny Florida. While my inner lizard enjoys living far away from cold snow and gloomy rainy days tremendously, there are a couple of German things I do miss almost every day, like my family and good bread.
Bread with a crust.
Bread with a velvety airy soft inside.
Bread with flavor.
Bread with texture.
Bread with a backbone that can't be compressed from a full-sized loaf to the size of a tennisball.
Good bread.

Bakeries that bake this kind of bread I grew up with are far and few inbetween and every single German expat I have met so far has at one point or another gotten into baking their own bread. Baking good bread is an art, but unfortunately we don't always have time to bake us a Van Gogh or a Renoir. Sometimes, that craving for bread needs a quick fix.

Thank God for Pinterest!
This is where I found the link to "Alexandra's Kitchen" and her mother's peasant bread (recipe link here).

It calls for a total of -5- ingredients: flour, salt, sugar, yeast and water, and makes the most amazing bread ever in just about -3- hours.

No kidding.

Since then I/we have sworn off store-bought bread entirely and I bake a batch every two or three days. It's a great tasting neutral bread that can easily be made more fun by adding extra ingredients like

- oats as a sprinkle on top for a great crunch and extra rustic look
- raisins or cranberries mixed into the dough for a sweeter bread without having to add more sugar
- chunks of fresh garlic mixed into the dough and topped off with s sprinkle of Rosemary for a hearty   
  garlic bread
- nuts of any kind mixed into the dough(walnuts, pecan, hazelnuts) or as a crusty topping

So so good!

Thank you, Alexandra, for sharing this terrific recipe! You saved my life!

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