Sunday, May 27, 2007

AVO Baby

For a YUMMY lunch, snack... pick me up for the summer.

Take one perfectly ripe Avocado (buy California) and slice.

Drizzle Marie's Poppy Seed Dressing and... *sigh* ... life really is this fresh.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Gine's Bread

Well this is my first post over here and I should thank la Yen for suggesting I contribute here. To start off this is one of my favorite recipes. It's a braided bread that I first made in France. It's best eaten fresh out of the oven with generous gobs of Nutella schmeared on top. Please note that I'm converting the measurements from metric to standard so if they seem a bit off just tweak them.

11 Tbsp Melted Butter
3 Cups Milk
3 Tsp Yeast
Pinch of sugar

Melt the butter with the milk in a small saucepan. Let it cool to be lukewarm and add the yeast. Add a pinch of Sugar. Let yeast activate 5 minutes.

6-8 Cups White Flour
1 Tbsp Salt
2 Tbsp Sugar
(Optional) Cinnamon (gives it a nice touch)

Start off with six cups of flour and mix with other dry ingredients. Form well. Once yeast mixture activated pour it into the well. Pull off part of the flour and mix it into the liquids so that it has a spongy quality. Let it rise for 20 minutes. Mix in the rest of the flour. Kneed together adding extra flour as needed. Let rise 1 1/2 hours.

Push down and let rest for ten minutes.

Divide dough into two portions of equal weight. Roll each portion out into a snake about 12 to 16 inches long (like you would with play dough). Starting at the middle of the two "snakes" braid the dough together. Braid the four ends together by dipping your fingers in water and pinching them together, then tuck them under the main portion of the dough. Let this rise on a floured pan for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350.

1 Egg Yolk

Separating and discarding the whites, whip one egg yolk till it is nicely blended. Add a bit of water if you like for ease of glazing. Glaze right before you put the dough in the oven.

Preferably bake the bread on a preheated stone, otherwise use a lightly floured baking sheet. Let bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until golden brown (please note because this comes out so thick you need to watch it carefully so you don't end up with more dough than bread (as I have on a couple of occasions). Let cool slightly and serve with Nutella, honey butter, or other succulent treat.

I wish I could have been more accurate with my measurements, but I learned this when I was 19 and haven't given thought to measurements since. Once you make it you'll know exactly what you need to modify.