I tried a new bread recipe that my friend Becky wrote about on her blog ~
The recipe comes from a delightful cookbook "Celebrate the Rain: Cooking with the Fresh & Abundant Flavors of the Pacific Northwest".
Becky re-calculated the recipe so she could make the dough in her bread making machine. You can find her proportions on her blog through the link above.
Brilliant idea Becky! I followed your lead. I don't mind making bread by hand, but using the bread machine to develop the dough is a real timesaver.
Just place the ingredients in the bread-maker pan, select 'dough' option, press the start button. The dough is ready has made it's first rise in about 90 to 110 minutes.
For this recipe you don't knead it after the dough has mixed and risen, just place it on a floured board and shape into balls ~ using Becky's revised proportions I divided the dough in half and formed into two boules:
Cover loosely with plastic film and allow to rise for about 45 to 50 minutes.
Then the top is slashed with a razor or sharp knife and kosher or coarse salt is sprinkled into the slash marks, and into the oven to bake. It's a very easy dough to work with, and produces a fragrant bread with a sturdy, yet tender crust and good textured crumb.
I will definitely make this bread again, not only for bread bowls, but for slices of bread.
It would be perfect for bread to serve along with meals, or sandwiches, or simply toasted. It is excellent.
The recipe suggests using either fresh rosemary or thyme (though you could use almost any favorite herb, or substitute dry if fresh is not available.) I chose thyme because I intended upon using the two boules as containers for Clam Chowder, and the thyme would complement the soup very well.
It is the perfect bread to fashion into bread bowls.
The method to turn the baked bread into containers for soups,stews or a holder for hot appetizer dip is very simple, just slice off the top of the bread and use a serrated knife to cut a circle on the inside circumference of the bread.
Gently pull out the interior bread (can be utilized for other purposes, such as croutons, a stuffng ingredient, or for bread crumbs.) The texture of this bread is perfect for bread bowl, and very tasty! I set my hollowed out bread bowls in a warm oven (250-300-degree F) for about 15 minutes to dry them and firm them up a bit, but that step is not necessary. I also toast the lid slice under the broiler and serve it along with the soup or stew.
"Celebrate the Rain: Cooking with the Fresh and Abundant Flavors of the Pacific Northwest" was written by the Junior League of Seattle, Washington and the book is sponsored by Nordstrom. Proceeds from the sale of the book are used to support community projects of the Junior League of Seattle. Community projects in the areas of education, human services, the arts and issue pertaining to women, children and families.
Becky's post encouraged me to read through this wonderful book once again and I've made a list of several "to try" recipes. It has several photographs of the finished recipes as well as beautiful artwork on the introductory pages of each chapter.
The chapters include recipe for menu items from Appetizers through Desserts, it is laid out very well and the recipe are easy to access. Most every one of the recipes can be made with ingredients readily available from the average supermarket. I highly recommend this book, and if you'd like to take a closer look, or purchase it, here is the link to it's page on amazon.com: