It’s true, my children’s favorite food is bread. This morning I wished an army of kitchen gnomes were hard at work on some of my favorite tweaked recipes. And as I slid my feet into my knitted slippers I realized the joy would be lost in the process if what I ate was both created and delivered by gnomes.
Today Lucy helped with her first loaf. Well, I guess you can say she helped in a sling held close to my heart as a young babe, but now she gets her hands yeast-sticky and floured.
After a festive Fourth of July Parade and Town picnic, we rushed home for Lucy to nap and catch our loaf after its second rise. Betty is bread painting our giant dough braclet before fireworks.
Betty loves to experiment with shapes, and here are two “painted pickles” with a few slates carved in with a knife before baking.
zucchini goat cheese breadI first have to give perks to the naked chef for this recipe. cheers, even though you don’t seem to be aging well in London where I once longed of cooking with you…the stash6-8 cups of organic unbleached white flour1 cup tepid to semi-hot filtered water1 ounce yeast2 tbl unbleached sugar2 tbl sea salt6 large zucchini, washed and grated using a cheese grader7 ounces fresh goat cheesestage onepile flour on a clean surface, making a well in the centerpour half of your water in the center, then add yeastwait until the yeast gets frothy (if it doesn’t, you might need to start again with fresh active yeast)add sugar, salt then stir with a forkadd zucchini and thymemix using your hands to scruntchyou won’t need more water; lots of water will squeeze out from the zucchinistage twoslowly and confidently, bring in flour from sides but don’t break the sides or water will go everywhere!continue until it looks like old oatmealpat and push in a circular motion until zucchini is evenly mixedyou may find that at high altitudes you need more waterstage threeslap dough until desired consistency, 4-5 minutes or until elbows hurt and your dough looks silky and elastickykids love to help at this phasestage fourflour the top of the dough, place in a metal bowl and cover with plastic wrapfor best results on the rise, place bowl on top of a heating pad set at mediumlet rise until doublestage fiveknock the air out of it for thirty seconds by puching it; what fun! kids love cooking violenceroll out into a giant rectangle with a rolling pin, flouredsmoosh goat cheese over flat surface, sprinkly with thyme and basil (or dill)roll up like a giant fajitaplace on a baking stonethis is the most important rise: the second rise gives the bread air that gets cooked in the bread, making it light and airy**It you like hard crust, whip up on egg with a teaspoon of water and brush over surface. Betty calls this Bread Paintinglet risebake, 350-375place in preheated oven, careful not to slam the door or the bread will fallyou can tell it is cooked by tapping on the bread – does it sound hallow? does it look like the color of pretzels?enjoy, especially with cream cheese