It's been quite a while since I've done a recipe post! To be honest I've been slacking in the kitchen lately, since I now am struggling to keep up with two jobs I have succumb to the temptations of eating out (Netflix mayyy have had a part in that too). Luckily when my parents came to town my mom was in the mood to bake some bread and actually put my kitchen to use!
This isn't just any bread, however, but my Aunt Gin's infamous recipe. Not sure when or how she got it, all I remember is anytime we went over her house for Thanksgiving I remember being greeted by the smell of freshly baked dough filling the kitchen.
This is my all time favorite, It's light in texture and slightly chewy and can serve to make sandwiches, accompany soups, or, if you're like me you just eat it plain slice by slice...by slice. This bread is easy to make but it does take time and patience (like all breads do) so you'll want to plan this at least a day and a half in advance. This bread also cooks best in a cast iron dutch oven which I know a lot of people don't have but if you bake a lot of breads and stews it might be worth the investment.
For the Bread...
1 1/2 cup warm water (about 95 degrees)
1/4 tsp yeast (heaping tsp if you like more holes in your bread)
3 cups flour (I use bread flour but you can use AP)
2 tsp salt
1.In a large glass bowl add the yeast to the warm water and let sit for about 5 min.
2.Stir in flour and salt just until combined (the dough will be wet) cover with saran wrap and leave overnight.
3.Flour a flat surface and dump dough, sprinkle additional flour on top of dough to prevent sticking. Cover for 15 additional min.
4.After 15 min. of rest, fold dough over several times until it forms into a small ball (use bench scraper for some help). Sprinkle flour on top and cover with a clean dish towel for 2 hours.
5.When you hit 1 1/2 hours, begin preheating the oven to 450 degrees F. place cast iron dutch oven inside for 30 min. (this will help in forming the crust of the bread).
6.Carefully place dough inside preheated pan (of any bubble form, pop with toothpick) and place in oven on the bottom rack, covered, for 15 min.
7.After 15 min. remove the lid and raise to the upper rack so the bottom of the bread doesn't burn - lower the heat to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 15 min. Bread should have a hollow sound when you tap it in the center. Remove bread from pan and let sit for at least 15 min.
For the Soup...
I pretty much followed this recipe from Cooks.com with a few minor adjustments.
1 lb. (about 3 med.) potatoes, cubed
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sliced carrot rounds
1 (8 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
Dash of pepper
2 TBS flour
1 cup light cream or milk
1/4 cup grated Swiss or Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
1.Combine 1/2 pound potatoes with broth in saucepan with tight-fitting lid. Bring to boil; simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Mash potatoes with fork; stir remaining potatoes, carrots, corn, celery, onion, and seasonings. Cover; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Dissolve the flour in a little cream; stir into chowder with remaining cream and parsley. Cook, stirring, over medium heat to thicken slightly. Serve, topped with grated cheese, if desired.