Saturday, February 22, 2014

Little Loaves

Dear Lauren,

When I was young, we went to Astroworld in Houston, TX. Some people who go to amusement parks remember the rides. I remember the little loaves of bread. I'm not sure if Mrs. Baird's, Rainbo, or Wonder sold them, but I do remember the aroma wafting through the park, luring me in. I always bought one of those little loaves of bread and so did everyone else. Delicious!

Good Cook challenged me to post a bread recipe and for some reason, those exact memories popped up! I talked to Donna Currie of Cookistry, who has a new cookbook coming out later this year. She's a dear friend of mine and an amazing bread baker. I knew she would steer me in the right direction to find a wonderful bread recipe similar to those loaves I remember from childhood.

Donna's book is called Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Bake-It-When-You-Want-It Yeast Bread and it's available for pre-order right now on I've ordered it! With any pre-order purchase on Amazon, you can get a free loaf pan from the generous people at Good Cook! To receive the free loaf pan, simply post your pre-purchase information to this linkIf you happen to see anything else you'd like to purchase at Good Cook, you will also get a 25% off discount using the promo code: BakeBread.

I'm particularly excited about this book because I am NOT a bread baker. But I'd sure like to be. After making "Little Loaves", I have confidence that I can be! Thank you, Donna!

Little Loaves

1 cup lukewarm water (110 degrees*)
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup instant mashed potato
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Stir water, yeast, sugar, and instant mashed potatoes in the bowl of your stand mixer. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Add the salt and bread flour. Knead until your dough is smooth and becoming elastic. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Add the oil and knead until it is fully incorporated and the dough is shiny and elastic.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, put a bit of olive oil in each cup of this pan or something similar. (I will tell you that this pan was the perfect size to produce four little loaves. I was so pleased!)

Flour your work surface and knead the dough briefly, then divide it into 4 equal pieces. Place the pieces of dough into the pan.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let then rise until doubled, about 20-30 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until the little loaves are golden brown.

Cool on a rack with a clean kitchen towel covering the pan while they're cooling, which will make the crust soft.


P.S. I found this chart* to be interesting and I think it will be helpful in my future bread baking endeavors!

P.P.S. This bread freezes beautifully. I have some in the freezer right now. I plan to thaw and slice them to use in a delicious appetizer recipe. My plan involves shrimp. You will have to stay tuned for that!
P.P.P.S. Here's one last bite! YUM!

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