See, I told you that I have friends other than you. This post is from...let's see here...Italian Food Expert...Mom Of Teenager...Old Friend Who Is Not Old. Sounds like an acronym would be appropriate here: IF E MOT OF WINO. So, here is the debut of IF E MOT OF WINO:
Today I received a hands on bread lesson from my friend. I was also fortunate enough to receive love and attention from her adorable Baby. The smell of homemade bread wafting through the house, a baby's pure delightful laughter and a good friend~ these are what matter in life.
I've always enjoyed cooking when it wasn't "on demand." Coming from a restaurant background hasn't hurt either. But, I have never been confident with dough. I have tried to make my share of bread, pizza crust and rolls. Sometimes they were just good enough. Other times, they were in the garbage instead of on the table. I confess this with shame for throwing food away. Today was a new dough beginning.
While the teenager amused Baby Love, my friend taught me how to improvise two delicious loaves. One was a short rise in the sun, the other a long rise, baked well after we parted. I took notes and kneaded the second loaf. I am a big fan of hands on individualized instruction from such a competent, creative dough master.
The first loaf was more whole wheat like, with an olive oil and sea salt crust. The texture was homey, the flavor was delicious. BUT the second loaf won FIRST PRIZE. We kneaded the second loaf more, let it rise much longer, used a few types of more delicate flour,then added freshly chopped oregano, sage and mint.
Look, here it is before baking. The crust sparkles and glistens with a sea salt and olive oil rub. I made a small signature fold on one side:
Here it is after baking:
I ate it plain. I ate it with cheddar cheese. I toasted it and and ate it with grape jelly. I ate the salt that fell off. I ate the bread crumbs and thought how lovely they would taste in meatballs. I ate the parchment paper it was baked on, (only a small piece by accident) and thought about carta di musica (Sardinia's native bread). I thought if it got stale for lack of eating (fat chance) how it would make a tasty panzanella (tomato salad with bread and olive oil and vinegar). I think of frying it for breakfast with a cutout for an egg in the middle.
I think of my friend, her laughing baby, and how the best is yet to come.
Keep up the good work, IF E MOT OF WINO,