Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Back with Big News! (Easy bread recipe & I'm pregnant!)

I'm back! Its been over a month and I have missed the blogging. When I last left off I was trying to get through a soup diet to no avail. I ended up nauseas after eating somewhat moldy bread and couldn't even think about eating another bowl of soup. It was a very strange time. Everything I ate started to become a challenging decision, I was very picky and the moldy bread was making me sick for days. I had come to the decision (and keen sense as I listened to my body) that I only wanted foods smothered in tomato sauce and cheese. There was pizza, of course, eggplant parmesan, pasta, lasagna and calzones. My friend, was coming home with her new baby from the hospital, and I couldn't think of making her anything else but a giant sheet pan vegetable lasagna. Nothing could satisfy the craving. Then, I started wanting cookies after every meal. The cheesy saucy foods and the cookies are special, occasional treats in my "normal" life but something was happening here. There was only one explanation for the shift and why the mention of something as simple and delicious as soup would turn my stomach. HORMONES! So I took a pregnancy test, and it was positive! How sweet and strange it is!

The cravings have past and my energy is back, aaaah. I feel like myself again. I have started to cook more and I'm finally feeding myself the foods I always thought I'd eat during pregnancy. I was getting nervous for a little while, here I was eating large Italian meals chasing them down with cookies, the thought of a vegetable turned my stomach and I was tired and miserable. I couldn't feel my emotions under the hormone weight and I was really nervous it was here to stay! So happy to be back.

So I want to kick my new post off with a bread recipe which is wicked WICKED easy and delicious. This was what I had intended on using during my soup diet, but never made it. Ok here it is...I must warn you that the trick to this bread is having a cast iron or pyrex dutch oven or casserole dish with a lid. This is a must, the rest is a piece of cake (or bread I guess).
To see this done in a video and get the full effect click HERE

3 cups Flour I used whole wheat pastry flour. You can use have all purpose half w.wheat for a lighter loaf.
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. yeast I used active dry yeast and just mixed it with the warm water till it dissolved.

Ok mix salt into flour.
Pour water and yeast mixture in and Mix. I use my hand to make sure I got it all, no need to over mix.
Let sit for 12-18 hours in a covered bowl at room temp (optimal about 65-70 degrees)

Preheat over to 5oo or 515 with the dutch oven or casserole dish in it. You want that to be hot hot hot.

Take bread out of bowl
Pat it down with a little flour on both sides and fold the four corners into the middle, like your wrapping a nice little package. You can sprinkle a little wheat germ on the fold openings and then drop it into the hot dutch oven folded side up (smooth side down).
Put the lid on and bake 20-30 minutes lid on, then 10 minutes lid off. Time may vary depending on the oven, so just play it by ear.

So easy easy bread. I haven't even been buying bread because this is so delicious and only takes about 10 minutes (aside from the rising time).

Now that I'm back I will be following the pregnancy and my prenatal diet so stay tuned!