Having cleaned out the refrigerator prior to leaving it was slim pickings in the house. There are always eggs though. Dozens of them since we hadn't been here to eat them, and that was after telling Karen to take some home for her and her daughter. I had picked up some citrus in Florida and some pecans in Georgia so I made a delicious Orange Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel for breakfast.
I also had an unopened package of hot dogs and found a can of beans in the cupboard so it was Beanie Weenies for lunch. Little Miss was one happy camper as was her Grampy. They love Beanie Weenies, Grammy? Not so much. I went for a walk with my friend, Kim, during which we stopped and had lunch at our local diner.
Before I left for my walk I decided I better think about dinner as there was no Weekly Menu written for this week. That is always a recipe for disaster in this household. I looked in the freezer and pulled out some Italian Sausage. Pasta is always an easy solution for what to serve for dinner when you have no plan. I always have the makings for a pasta dish in the pantry.
A couple of hours before dinner I thought that I really should have something on the table to go along with the pasta. I considered a Citrus Salad without the greens. I was roaming around the kitchen to see what I could make out of the meager rations. Frank asked what I was doing and when I told him he asked for bread. Perfect!!! Except I had told Tingting to be home for dinner at 6 and it was after 4 pm. Hmmmmmm....no problem at all....thanks to this great recipe from Southern Living.
I used Red Star Platinum Yeast that I had recently received as a sponsor gift for the upcoming #Brunchweek. This is the second recipe, using the Platinum and I am LOVING it!! The only other adaptation I made was using my pizza stone instead of greasing and using a baking sheet. This bread was light, airy and delicious. We used a Tuscan Herb olive oil from Fustini's for dipping. Delicious!
Quick Italian Loaf
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 t. sugar
1 c. warm water (100-110*)
2-3 c. bread flour
2 T. olive oil
1 t. salt
Combine the yeast, sugar and water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Let stand for 5 minutes until foamy. Add 2 c. flour, olive oil and salt to the yeast mixture and combine, using dough hook at low speed for one minute. Gradually add additional flour until the dough is soft and smooth. Increase speed to medium and knead for 5 minutes. Cover the bowl with a warm, damp towel and let rise in a warm, draft free area for one hour or until doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, punch down and shape into a loaf. Cover with the redampened, warm towel and let rise for 10 minutes. Place pizza stone in oven and preheat to 400*. Cut slices in the top of your loaf with a sharp knife. (This prevents the bread from bursting on the sides) Place onto the hot stone (alternately you can use a greased baking pan) and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack until ready to serve. Print Recipe