That string of cold rainy days I was talking about on Saturday, well they finally cleared up Sunday afternoon. Just in time for us to work our way out to the woods and clear some of the deadfall for firewood. I have to say guys, I’m mighty proud of myself. Himself worked super hard cutting all of the wood to six foot lengths, and this girl, well she loaded that whole trailer full! So full, that by the end the four-wheeler was protesting the load.
Sure, I know. You’re thinking, “Listen lady, the novelty of that is going to wear off mighty quick.” I agree, but it’s that sense of satisfaction from a job well done that I really enjoyed (the long soak in the hot tub after, that sure didn’t hurt either). And I know that there’s a great many more trailers that need to be hauled before the snow flies. That sense of urgency, just adds to the pride, knowing that I can do this. Feeling so good about working so hard, helps reinforce the sense that we absolutely made the right decision to move to the country. Getting out there, also shows us all the potential for all this land. Super exciting!
So anyway, even though the sun finally came out (and stayed out) that gray, cool weather left me with a craving for soup. Step one for the soup? Bread bowls to put it in, naturally. Ok, ok, I know you’re thinking bread bowls are hard to make. Guess what?! They really aren’t. Really, I mean it. I used to be just like you, and then two years ago, I made a New Year’s resolution to master my fear of baking with yeast. And it worked. Seriously, the only flops I’ve had with yeast are when I’ve decided to make some wack-a-doodle additions or adjustments, so stick to the recipe and you’ll do just fine. This recipe is from the awesome blog Bake Your Day. I absolutely love this recipe, and I think you will too. The only change I made to the recipe was to add basil to the dough and then to substitute a basil garlic seasoning mixture in place of the salt. Crazy town, I know, but I don’t care for a lot of salt on my pretzels. And the mystery soup that I’ll be sharing this weekend has plenty of salt in it.
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tsp. coarse sea salt
2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
5 cups all-purpose flour
8 cups water
1/4 cup baking soda
1 egg yolk
1 Tbs. water
1 ½ Tablespoons chopped basil
Basil garlic seasoning mix
Combine the water, sugar and sea salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes until a layer of foam appears on the top of the liquid.
Turn the mixer on to low speed and add the basil if using. Then, add in the flour, one cup at a time and mix thoroughly. You may need a little more or a little less depending on how we your dough is. Increase the speed to medium and knead for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the bowl. While the dough is kneading, oil a large glass bowl. Turn the dough out onto the counter and shape it into a ball. Place the ball into the oiled glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and store in a warm place for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Bring 8 cups of water to a simmer with the baking soda. Meanwhile, divide the dough into four equal pieces and roll into evenly-shaped balls. One by one, place the balls of dough into the boiling water for 1 minute, turning once. Remove and return to pan..
Mix the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Brush the tops of each bread bowl and then sprinkle with coarse salt or basil garlic mixture. Slit an “x” into the top of each bowl.
Bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack.