Written by Jeannett Gibson of Life Rearranged.
I’m working through Tsh’s ebook One Bite at a Time and hopefully you are too! You can jump in at any time and follow my own journey! Buy the ebook for only $5 HERE.
I‘m a big fan of making as few things from a box, can, or bag as possible so I loved the idea behind Project 26. Over the years I’ve found that not only does the food taste so much better than anything you can buy pre-made, but it really doesn’t take nearly as long as you might think!
As long as you have the right ingredients on hand, you can usually whip things together faster than the time it would take to run to the grocery store and buy it. (Not to mention the health benefits!)
I love making my own french bread. Fresh, hot, easy…and your family thinks you’ve slaved away for hours. You don’t have to tell them it only took about ten minutes of actual work on your part. That can be our secret.
Recipe: French Bread
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 TB olive oil
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
cornmeal (to sprinkle on cookie sheet)
1 TB water
1. In bread machine pan, measure out the first 6 ingredients in the order listed. Set to dough cycle. Go take a nap.
2. Divide dough in half and roll out into two 8×10 rectangles on a lightly floured surface. Roll up along the long side. Sprinkle cookie sheet with cornmeal and place loaves on top. Cover and let rise 20 minutes.
3. Whisk egg and water and brush onto your loaves.
4. Bake in 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Place 5 ice cubes in an oven safe dish on the bottom rack of your oven. Five minutes into bake time add 5 more ice cubes. (This crisps up the crust while keeping the inside soft.)
5. Sprinkle some flour on your face to make it look like you worked way harder than this to impress your family.
I feel that now is the time I need to defend the clunky contraption that is the bread machine. Sure, it’s huge and takes up a ton of space, but I’ve discovered the secret to bread machine happiness: never ever ever actually bake your bread in it or you’ll end up with dense little bricks…no matter how great the recipe is. Just use it for the dough cycle and then bake in your oven.
Find a bread machine on Craigslist or ask your mom for the one that has been sitting in the back of her cupboard for the last 24 years. Being able to toss a few ingredients in, pushing two buttons and not having to keep track of time or do anything else is worth every square inch it takes up. Exhibit A: I baked this bread less than 3 weeks after giving birth to my fourth baby. Easy peasy.
What’s your favorite “from scratch” food?