Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pasta Night

Pasta Night

Thursday is pasta night at my house. It has been for years. We love pasta around here.
We also love garlic bread. 

I have recently gotten into making bread from scratch. It's fun, yummy and cost effective. Feeding a family of 8, soon to be 9, can be very expensive, and we are always looking for easy ways to save money. 
One of the easiest ways is to cut out convenience food. 
We have done that already, but certain things are too much to make from scratch. I had always thought bread was one of those things. Until recently.

I don't own a bread machine, nor do I think it would be effective for me to buy one. The loaves made with machines would last precisely 5 minutes and half of my family wouldn't get to eat any. They are simply too small. 

So I began to look around for bread making resources. Turns out, it's pretty easy to do. A little flour, some yeast and few other simple ingredients, time and an oven and you're on a roll (maybe literally).

Over the last few months I'd worked on several loaves, white and whole wheat. Once I found something I really liked, I decided to try my hand at garlic bread.

Most recipes I found meant purchasing a loaf of bread and simply adding butter and garlic salt. I knew how to do that, I was looking for something else. Something better. So I decided to try my hand at it on my own. 

And this is what I got:

Looks pretty good huh?

So here's a quick run down of what I did:
Gather ingredients: 
3 TBSP powdered garlic--to taste start with less and add more if you like, we ended up with 4 TBSP
1 C AP flour
2 C Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 TBSP Yeast
1 TBSP Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2 TBSP Butter
1 C Water warm plus 2/3 cup for later

To 1 cup warm water, add sugar and stir to dissolve. Then add yeast, give one quick stir then set aside for at least 10-15 minutes.
Mix both flours and salt in a bowl. Use a wooden spoon or mixer with paddle attachment. I prefer a good ol' wooden spoon. 

When you're time is up, your yeast mixture should look frothy and smell awesome:

Add garlic powder, butter (or oil if subbing) and yeast mixture to flour mixture and stir. Add 2/3 cup water and stir until your dough looks like this:

It should stick to itself, but not the bowl, spoon or your hands, and should be slightly springy.

Cover the bowl with a towel and keep in a warm place to rise for 2-3 hours. I like mine on top of the fridge. 

During this time period, my whole house smelled like garlic. It was wonderful. 

When time is up, dough will likely be double, stir a few more times with your wooden spoon and then place in greased loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, it's OK to do this after rising, the dough won't go bad waiting for the oven to warm. 

Cook 45-60 minutes, mine took about 50. Remove from oven and wait 10-15 minutes before moving loaf out of pan and onto wire rack to cool.

Serve warm with butter.

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