Friday, February 27, 2009

Easy Bread!

I know its been a few days since my last post so I hope this makes up for it!
I went to a cooking class that taught this recipe and it is so easy and wonderful! This is the best bread recipe because it can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. They made bread sticks and so of course I had to go home and try it. It was so easy and my family loved them. SO if its good I share with you. This dough can be used for everything from pizza to bread sticks.
Pizza Bianca
(pizza bianca or roman flatbread pizzas are made of pizza dough, salt, olive oil, and a few herbs such as rosemary or thyme. Bianca is white in Italian- so the idea is to keep the pizza’s relatively white other than a few herbs and some white cheese)
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
possible pizza toppings:
1 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, optional: Parmesan cheese freshly grated (or some other white cheese) , 1 tablespoon thyme, or basil

1. In small bowl put warm water. Sprinkle yeast into the water and then sprinkle the sugar, stir. Let sit to grow.
2. In mixing bowl add flour and salt. When yeast is bubbly mix in with oil until the dough makes a round ball.
3. Knead in mixer or by hand until dough is tight and smooth, and an elastic ball.
4. Rise in mixing bowl that has a bit of olive oil in bottom. Let sit for 45 minutes or until double in bulk. Prepare toppings.
5. Dough can be made ahead to this point and then stored in the refrigerator. In a gallon zip lock bag, put 2 teaspoons of olive oil and then the dough ball. When ready to use, take dough out of fridge and let set for one hour. Use dough within 5 days.
6. Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
7. Stretch or roll each piece to a 12 to 18 inch round. Brush top with olive oil, then sprinkle with fine sea salt, rosemary or herbs and cheese if desired. Proof for 20 minutes.
8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until light brown. Cut into wedges. Serve warm.
Dough can be used as BREAD STICKS - but cut salt down to 1 teaspoon. After first rise, pre heat oven to 400 degrees and in a 10 by 15 pan melt 1/3 c. butter. Roll dough into a 20 by 8 inch rectangle. Using a pastry brush spread with melted butter and then cut into 18-24 strips. Twist strips and then lay them into the pan. Sprinkle with your choice of toppings (garlic salt, parmesan cheese, Mrs. Dash, herbs of your choice, etc). Let proof for 20 minutes and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until browned.

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