Archive | March 2013

Italian Bread Bowls

I have made these bread bowls so many times and they have come out great every single time. They are so simple even an amateur baker could pull them off without difficulty. The recipe I used originally lacked flavor so I added some herbs to give it a more “Italian” taste. Honestly, how can you call them Italian if they don’t at least have oregano.

These bread bowls rise up golden and crisp on the outside, and soft on the inside; they are perfect in the winter filled with a hot chowder or hearty stew.  If you don’t use them all, make sure you wrap them up tightly because fresh baked bread doesn’t have the same shelf life as store bought bread. For an even longer lasting freshness you can freeze them for up to a month.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 7 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 teaspoon of desired herbs to add flavor

Directions:

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

Add the salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Here is where I added about a teaspoon each of garlic, basil, and oregano. I also dumped in a couple tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition. If you are using any kind of mixer (preferably a standing mixer because they are designed to take on tough tasks such as bread dough.) Make sure to use the dough hooks or the dough will creep up the beaters and into the head of the mixer and burn it out. Believe me when I tell you this because I have done it.

Dough coming together, but needs more flour

Dough coming together, but needs more flour

When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Don’t forget to take any rings off; I forget to all the time and end up with dough encrusted diamonds.

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Ready to be kneaded

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. I know the recipe says 40 minutes, but if you let it rise longer you will have more aerated and fluffy bread. So, yesterday I inadvertently let the dough rise for a couple of hours, and in the end it was well worth it because the bread bowls were the best I had ever made.

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Risen dough. Should have used a bigger bowl.

Punch dough down, and divide into 8 equal portions. My favorite part is punching the dough. It makes me giggle every time.

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Literally punch the dough

Shape each portion into a 4 inch round loaf. My secret to nice round loaves is using placing a chunk of dough in both hands and pulling over my fingers with both thumbs. This side will be the top of the loaf and will bake nice and smooth. To close the bottom pinch it closed and then roll it into a little peak to ensure it stays completely closed.

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View from the top

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View from the side

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Pinching the open bottom

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Finished loaf

Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes. Some rule applies here. If you let them rise a little bit longer your bowls will be that much better.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a small bowl, beat together egg white and 1 tablespoon water; lightly brush the loaves with half of this egg wash.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Brush with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.

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Fresh from the oven

To make bowls: Cut a 1/2 inch thick slice from top of each loaf; scoop out centers, leaving 3/4-inch-thick shells.

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Use a very sharp knife so you don’t end up ripping the bread

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Remove the top

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Scoop out the center

Fill bread bowls with hot soup and serve immediately.

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Completed bread bowl filled with loaded baked potato chowder

If you make them leave a comment or send a picture.
Happy baking!

Secret Romance

We started our journey 
You and I 
Secretly 
Because it was forbidden 
Like Lancelot and Guenevere 
This is our fate 
Neither I without you 
Nor you without me 

The other night 
I slept 
And I saw 
All our past and future 
In a tiny flame 
So is my love for you 
Burning as it can 
Yet refusing to go out 
As all flames do 
It will flicker 
In a hostile wind 
And shrink 
From the rain 
But it will never die 

And yet 
I have failed you 
Failed again 
So you choose to flee 
You have gone 
Down to the house of death 
And the earth lies 
Over your lovely eyes 

But fear not 
My love 
I will follow you 
To the ends of the earth 
No tears 
No fears 
Onward 
Always on 
Til all the oceans 
Run together 
And the waters 
Bury the land 
I am the ocean 
You are the land 

I am with you still 
When you choose 
To return 
Come to me 
My sweetheart 
My love 
Whenever you come 
You will find me 
Here 
For I never gave up hope 
So farewell 
My prince 
Til we meet again

Ode to My Mommy

Roses are red 
Violets are blue 
You were my mommy 
Even before I knew you 
I was a little girl 
My favorite color was pink (still is!) 
You changed all my diapers 
Even though they did stink 
When it was time to go to sleep 
Oh the stories you read 
Then sang me a song 
And tucked me into bed 
Now I’m twenty five 
And all grown 
Doing grown up things 
With a baby of my own 
I dress her in pink 
With lace and bows 
Change her diapers that stink 
And tickle her toes 
I read her bedtimes stories 
And sing her little songs 
I tell her I love her 
And let her know she belongs 
I know this is right 
Because I learned from the best 
You, the best mommy! 
A cut above the rest!

My Tiny Shy Friend

I have a tiny friend, 
Who likes to hide alot. 
And socialize with others, 
Well, he would rather not. 
He prefers the dark, 
And doesn’t like to play. 
Underneath alot of layers 
Is where he would like to stay. 
He’s not like other boys, 
And I’ve always wondered why, 
Whenever girls are around 
He starts acting shy. 
He doesn’t know what to do, 
And he goes all soft and limp. 
He shrinks right back inside. 
That scrawny little shrimp. 
You might wonder why, 
I keep this friend around. 
Truth is we’re very close, 
Forever we are bound. 
My friend has many names, 
Such as Johnson, Penis, and Weewee. 
But I just call him The Virgin, 
Because thats what he’ll always be.

The Alley King

Oh great alley king 
You are worshipped and adored 
All are jealous of your cardboard box 
Where all your belongings are stored 
Oh how I wish to be you 
The ruler of the alley 
To push the coveted shopping cart 
Collecting cans all through the valley 
Your tarp has minimal holes 
And your trenchcoat looks like new 
But I heard you shaved the royal beard 
Can this possibly be true? 
It is a sign of your regal position 
Far above the alley peasants 
By any means you must grow it back 
And reestablish your superior presence 
Until the day you abdicate the throne 
We will all just stare in awe 
At the jobless scruffy alley king 
The best we ever saw

Life of A dollar

Hi, my name is George,

and I’m a dollar bill.

I’ve been around the world

from China to Brazil.

I love to travel here and there

to all the exotic places;

Try new foods, learn new words,

and see the different faces.

With all that said,

I must admit

there is one place

I’d love to quit.

They play such bad music.

There’s hardly any light.

And the ugly naked women…

It really isn’t right.

I get shoved deep inside a butt crack,

and I try to hold my breath.

But I’m pushed and shoved around

as her hips swing right to left.

After many exhausting hours

of suffocating in her butt,

I am finally released

to see her doing God knows what.

After several more hours

of her rated-x behaviour,

I and my fellow George’s

are traded for our wealthier neighbors.

Strapped in with the other singles

On our way to someplace new

I vow never to return

If that were only true.

 

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Lost in your words

I bury myself in your expression.
My thoughts drowning
In your beautiful prose.
Your voice is music,
And in it I am lost.
It is a maze I will never conquer.
I am mesmerized,
But blinded.
I am faint.
I am dizzy.
I am exhilerated.
Brought to life
By your words alone.
I will follow your voice
‘Til I am broken
And shattered.