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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Italian Seasoned Bread

Quite some time ago I went from buying store bought breads to making my own as much as possible.  This helps me to avoid the preservatives and additives that I don't like as well as allows me a bit of creative freedom to make a loaf of bread you could not buy in the stores.  I make a lot of homemade breads and I am quite the tweaker.  Once you understand the principles behind bread making tweaking is not so mysterious.  One of my most tweaked bread recipes is my basic white bread that really was a fluke in the first place.

Italian seasoned bread
Years ago I had a bread-machine.  I now make all of my breads using a KitchenAid® stand mixer.  All of my tried and true bread-machine recipes have be converted to using the stand mixer.  It is amazing how much you can tweak a standard bread recipe and still come up with a great loaf of bread. 

The Italian Seasoned Bread was very much a tweak as I went loaf of bead.  The end result was anything but a plain loaf of bread.  I added lecithin which is a dough enhancer.  The results were quite favourable so I will try it with my next loaf of 100% Whole Wheat Bread.

Italian Seasoned Bread
by  Garden Gnome

1⅔ c water
1 egg
2 tbsp skim milk powder
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp sea salt
4 tbsp lecithin
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp tomato powder
4½ c unbleached flour
1½ instant dry yeast
olive oil

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer.  Stir wet ingredients together then with mixer on setting 1 slowly pour wet ingredients into dry.  Add extra flour as needed to get the dough to clear the bowl.  Increase the speed for kneading.  Knead until dough is smooth and elastic.  Rub dough lightly with olive oil.  Place in bowl and cover with damp towel.  Allow dough to proof until doubled.  Punch down and form into a loaf shape then place in loaf pan.  Cover with damp towel and allow to double.  Bake at 400ºF until golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when tapped with the back of a spoon.  Remove from oven.  Tip loaf onto cooling rack.  Brush crust with butter.

power sandwich made with Italian seasoned bread
A few years ago I coined the term Mom's Power Sandwich.  A power sandwich is usually served on whole grain or multi-grain homemade bread.  The filling is meant to be nutritious and healthy so the focus is on home grown preferably fresh picked and vegetables. 

I made a power sandwich using the Italian seasoned bread.  The filling consisted of leaf lettuce, sliced ham, tomatoes, onions and condiments.  The outcome was a delectable sandwich sure to please! 

Now, you just can't go wrong with a sandwich made with home made bread!  Turning the sandwich into a power sandwich is just a win win.  I can't wait for the fresh vegetables from our garden to start producing again so I can enjoy power sandwiches on a regular basis made with homemade bread.

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