Sunday, June 22, 2008

Marie Sauce ton Pain

I love the smell of homemade bread - the sweet, yeasty aroma fills the house with smiles and good cheer and warmth and all things good. I also love doing so many other things that making yeast bread from scratch doesn't make it to the top of my list very often. There's an easy way to make bread, however, and it produces the same smell and frame of mind as the kind that starts with all the ingredients in their separate packages... frozen bread dough!

Here's a new twist to make it even more special - add herbs or grains to the thawed dough for more flavor! Let the frozen loaf thaw completely; in a small bowl mix about 1/4 cup of your favorite dried or fresh herbs or mix of grains; oil and flour your favorite work counter; as you knead the dough, work in your special mixture until it is thoroughly blended, this will also mean you've worked out all the air and the bread will have a lovely smooth texture; form into whatever shape you want - loaf pan, rolls, long baguette, whatever; bake at 350' until golden on the top and golden on the underneath and hollow sounding when you tap it.
This time I put rosemary, garlic powder, and thyme into the herbed loaf; wheat germ and flax seed into the grainy loaf; and left one loaf plain. The aromas were wonderful, and the breads were delicious!
As well as baking bread, I've been sketching butterflies and catching up on household things while I watch the goldfinches in the feeders... an odd combination of activities that are somehow all connected under the category of "Life on the Alley."
Marie Sauce ton Pain is a really fun French tune that comes from the Portland Collection, volume two. I think this bread would be divine dipped in warm olive oil or in a hearty soup!

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