So I was going to have Mondays be the day that I post my favorite songs, with some stupid catchy phrase, like “Music Mondays.” Then I made some delicious bread that has brought numerous requests for the recipe, so I decided to post that, too. Then, I decided I was being to “OCD” and don’t really need specific days to post things, so you’re getting both in one shot. 😉 That’s a big step for me, I hope you know….
I love Alabama. The band, not the state. No offense to any Alabamians (???). I love the harmonies, and Randy Owens just makes me smile. 🙂 They are amazingly talented, and this is one of my favorites…
So now onto the recipe…first, the back story. BG loves toast in the mornings. He has to have his tea, and toast with peanut butter and a banana. (We are all creatures of habit in one form or another, right?) I, being the cheapskate that I am, got tired of buying bread every week, and I wanted a healthier option anyway, so I started making my own. I found this recipe, which is super simple, and of course, I tweaked it a bit to my own liking. 😉 So here’s the master recipe, and then I’ll tell you what I do…
Master Artisan Bread
3 1/2 C lukewarm water
4 t active dry yeast
4 t salt
7 1/4 C flour (I use half whole wheat, half white)
Combine water, yeast and salt in large bowl. With spoon, stir in flour until well mixed. (Dough will be wet) Place dough in 5qt lidded container; cover with lid (do not snap airtight) or towel. Let rise at room temperature 2hrs. Refrigerate overnight or up to 14 days.
- The longer you keep this in the refrigerator, the more it will take on a sourdough quality. You can make a loaf after the initial rising, before refrigeration, or you can wait as long as you like. The original recipe says this makes enough for 4 (1lb) loaves. You just tear off a portion from the original recipe, shape and bake. They recommend using a 1lb (grapefruit size) piece of dough, which will make a small, round loaf, or short, loaf pan size of bread. BG prefers the tall, sandwich size bread, so this original recipe yields about two loaves for us.
To make sandwich-size bread, remove half of the dough from the fridge – dough will be wet and somewhat sticky, so you may want to sprinkle your hands with a little bit of flour. I just cut off a chunk and drop it right in the pan. Prepare a 9x5in loaf pan with spray or butter, drop the dough in and flatten if necessary. Cover with a towel and allow to rise for 1hr, or until dough is puffed and no longer cold. Bake at 400 for 30min. or until deep golden brown.
- I don’t like bread with hard crusts. The original recipe calls for baking at 450, along with a pan of hot water beneath, to create steam. I’ve found that if I eliminate the pan of water, and lower the baking temperature, even to 350, I get a nice soft, moist loaf of bread. Choice is yours.
Now, on to the good stuff….Nutella Bread
Using half of the original recipe, roll dough out onto a well-floured surface. Again, the dough will be wet and sticky, so add flour as necessary. Form into a large rectangle – for the loaf you see pictured, mine was rolled to about 12×15.
Spread with Nutella – use as much as you like, according to taste. For this loaf, I used about 3/4 C. Some like more, some like less. You may need to soften it a bit in the microwave, to make spreading easier. *Note to self, if you decide to microwave the Nutella in it’s original jar, make sure you completely remove the original seal from around the rim – it will spark and arc and scare the pants off of you.*
Once you have the Nutella spread, roll up the loaf jelly-roll style and form into a ring. Carefully transfer to baking pan large enough to hold the loaf. (I use a baking stone, so there’s no need for me to oil it, but if you are using any other type of pan, it will need to be oiled or buttered) Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled. Bake at 350 for 25-30min or until golden brown. Spread top with butter and sprinkle with sugar (I used a mix of Turbinado and Muscovado)
There you go! Two for one. I know the recipe seems rather lengthy, but that’s largely do to all my notes and rambling. It really is very easy, and great to have on hand, so that when I want to make bread, I just pull the dough out of the fridge and it’s ready to go. Enjoy your Monday!