Homemade Bread!!!!

So yesterday I decided it was the day to make some bread. I don’t really have much going for me right now besides work and hanging out with my dog, so on my days off I’m always cooking. I was reading some things about how the bread that we’re used to isn’t real bread. And it’s extremely true, bread in the store is filled with preservatives to mass produce it and because of how bleached it is, there are basically no nutrients in it. I love bread and I’m quite positive I will always love it and never be able to give it up. So I made some. My favorite bread right now is Ezekiel Bread (I wrote about it in my blog post about 2 months ago in Must Have Items!) It’s a great bread, it’s made out of wheat, barley, lentils, spelt and so on. But I don’t have any Ezekiel Bread right now.

****Even though I’m always cooking, I’m not that great of a cook. Most of the things I make I only eat because no one else likes it and I’m pretty much experimenting with different things. But this bread was AMAZING.****

It’s basically “Italian” bread because of the herbs I used to crust it but you can skip this part and only make the bread or crust it with anything else (i.e. cinnamon sugar and so on).

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of bread flour
  • 4 cups of All purpose flour (I used unbleached flour)
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 3 cups of warm water (I microwaved the water until it reached 110 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of instant yeast

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** For the crust**

I basically eyeballed it, it really depends on what you like. For example I love garlic so I used a little more of that. Do it how you like it! But roughly I used these measurements.

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic

I used this to both coat the bread and use as a dipping sauce.

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So to start:

I dissolved my salt for the bread into the warm water. Once dissolved, I put it into my mixing bowl, I added all of the yeast and all of the bread flour and only about 2 cups of my all purpose flour. I mixed it on low. Once it comes together I slowly added the rest of the flour, about 1/2 cup at a time.

Once everything is mixed I coated my counter with flour and kneaded the bread for about 5 minutes. I grabbed my pot that I was going to use to cook the bread in and coated it with oil so my bread doesn’t stick and plopped my bread into there. **make sure all of your bread is coated with the oil.** I then covered it with plastic wrap that also had oil on it. Then on top of that I put a dish towel and placed it into the cabinet for an hour to rise.

After an hour it definitely rose! This is when I got really excited, it was finally looking like real bread!

I preheated my oven to 350 degrees and took my bread out of the pot to knead it just a little more, probably about 4 minutes. Placed it back into my pot and got a brush and coated the bread, generously, with my oil mixture. I then popped it into the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is nice and golden brown.

Once out of the oven, I coated the bread a little more with my mixture and it is done!!!!

It was so good, I was so proud of myself with this one. Definitely one of the best things I’ve ever made. It wasn’t hard, it just takes some time. I think it’s really good for people to know how to make such simple things such as bread. Get back to the basics and make your own things, or at least know how to make it. It was 1000000000% better than store bought bread, seriously try it out for yourself!

If you tweak the recipe and do something different let me know! I’d love to hear about it.

I hope you guys have a great Tuesday,

-Love Nicole ❤

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Parmesan Potato Gnocchi

Last year around this time I made pumpkin gnocchi and I really liked it. To confess, I absolutely love pasta, and all kinds of it. I decided to make gnocchi again! But this time out of potato.

Like all my posts I’m just going to tell you what I did and urge you to try it your self.

I did not take any measurements in this recipe, I just went by my gut instinct. Primarily because most recipes that I saw called for  2 pounds of potato that I did not have and I rather work with what I have versus going out to the store and just wasting all my time.

To start I pre-heated my oven to 350 degrees and washed and cut my potatoes into quarters to cut my baking time a little shorter.

****DO NOT DO THIS! I only did this because I waited too long to make dinner but didn’t want to make something less time consuming.****

I suggest just cleaning your potatoes and baking them whole, only puncturing the potatoes so moisture can escape. I baked my potatoes instead of boiling them because I read that baking them will release moisture that you do not want in your gnocchi (the more moist your potatoes are the more flour you’re going to have to use).

You’re going to have to bake your potatoes for about an hour, or until your fork can easily enter the potatoes.

Once your potatoes are cooked, the next step is to peel them and mash them. I didn’t have a “ricer” so I had to use my masher.

After that you’re going to mix in flour and an egg, I’m sorry I didn’t take measurements! But when you add in the egg your mixture is going to be sticky and you basically use enough flour to not make your mixture sticky anymore.

*** Do not over mix ***

Once your mixture is good, you’re going to roll it similarly to how you would roll dough for a pretzel and then just cut them into little extremely miniature pillows. IMG_8530

Get a pot of salted water boiling and pour in your gnocchi. It’ll only take probably about 4 minutes for them to be done. They float to the top when they’re done. So immediately after you put your gnocchi to boil you should have you pan ready with butter and garlic cooking on medium heat. Once your gnocchi has floated just transfer it from the pot to the pan and you can include some of that gnocchi water into it to try to get a sauce going.

It should only take about a couple minutes until your gnocchi is done in the pan, but right before it is done add in your parmesan (however much you like, I used A LOT). I also made sure to add salt (to taste) and you don’t have to but I added red pepper flakes.

And finally you are done!

This took me about 2 hours, because I am a novice and still learning the ropes. But I’m hoping eventually I can do this with my eyes closed.

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I really do hope you guys try this out. Gnocchi is really good, one of my favorite pastas.

If you guys do try it, let me know! Share your recipes, I’d love to hear about them.

Hope you guys have a great Thursday!

-Love Nicole ❤