Ah, a weekend with no prior engagements. No where to be, no time to watch, and a time to breathe! And a time to bake And clean, blog, run errands, and relax! I have something cool to share today.
One of my favorite birthday gifts this year was one of these:
One of my amazing aunts picked this up for me at a flea market and it is SO COOL. I love the retro feel of the product, as well as the OLD pyrex logo and instructions. Way too cool. I’ve been itching to use it since I got it!
Please see the end of the post for the french bread recipe that accompanied this retro baking gadget! Here is how my french bread turned out:
It is delicious and I can’t believe how it filled the tube! It is a dense, awesome bread that would be great for sandwiches, FRENCH TOAST, and much more. We sampled on just a bit with some butter that melted because it was still warm. Nothing like homemade bread.
I also had picked up a Bob’s Red Mill rye bread mix months ago so I decided it was time to give that a whirl as well. The directions were easy and results were really great, too:
We’re in bread heaven, I’m telling you! I also threw on some cheater box mix dark chocolate brownies too.. but they don’t deserve a photo.. ha! I did manage to put away at least half of the brownies into the freezer so they last a bit longer.
On top of all the baking I did, we also hit up Trader Joe’s, ALDI, and BJs so we could get some of the stock up items we’ve been needing. At TJ’s we scored some quinoa and already shelled pistachios (among other treats) and we grabbed some other necessities at the other stores. I’ve decided that our first budget month will be February so that we can get ourselves all planned out. Here is the french bread recipe, courtesy of Pyrex circa 1970-something, I guess!
From Pyrex 😉
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 2 tsp sugar
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp shortening
- 4 cups sifted flour
- 1 egg white, unbeaten
- 1 tbsp cornmeal
- Combine ½ cup warm water, yeast and sugar; set aside for 10 minutes. Pour ¾ cup warm water into a large bowl. Mix in salt, shortening and one cup flour; beat until smooth.
- Stir in yeast mixture, then egg white. Add remaining flour gradually; beat until dough is stif. Turn out on floured board and knead until dough is non-sticky, smooth and elastic – about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Place dough in greased bowl and grease top lightly. Cover bowl with a damp towel and set in warm place to rise until almost doubled in bulk (about 1½ to 2 hours).
- Punch dough down and squeeze out air bubbles. Roll and shape into a strip about 3″ by 18″. Lightly mark off in thirds. Fold one third over center third and pinch to seal. Fold remaining third over other two thirds and seal well.
- Center dough in greased tube dusted with cornmeal. Butter ends of loaf. Place tube in rack and drape damp cloths over ends. Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until almost doubled (about 1½ to 2 hours).
- Bake at 425°F. for 10 minutes; lower to 350°F. for 35 minutes. Slide bread from tube onto rack to cool.