Hurricane Bread

My Irene preparations–rich sandwich bread to the left, Italian Bread to the
right, both recipes below!

I had been wanting to make bread for a while. I’ve also been through a hurricane where we were left with no power or drinkable water for a week and had to leave, so although I was pretty confident Irene wouldn’t cause much damage where I was, I bought a flashlight (my old one had broken and not been replaced), filled some pitchers of water, and made some delicious bread!

I made two loaves of bread: one was basically an italian bread, and the other was a plain sandwich bread. They were both great in their own way.

Italian Bread (breadmaker recipe):
3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (I was out of olive oil, so I used this, but it was a great choice, and I’ll use it again)
1 1/4 cup bread flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dry yeast
garlic powder

Add all ingredients to the breadmaker in order except the garlic powder. Set the bread maker on the dough setting. When it beeps, remove the dough and punch it down. Let stand for 5 minutes under a towel. Then, knead the dough and shape it into a loaf. Spray with olive oil or a substitute. Place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment or foil that has been sprayed with oil and covered with flour so the bread doesn’t stick. Slice parallel lines (see picture) along the dough, sprinkle with garlic powder, and let rise under a towel for ~20-30 minutes. You could really sprinkle it with whatever you want, I just saw garlic powder and grabbed it. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees until it looks solid and almost finished, and turn up the temperature to 400 degrees for about 5 minutes to get a little crisp on the crust.

Bread has been kneaded and shaped before moving to the
baking sheet

After its second rise
Partway through cooking, it’s risen more
and could be considered finished, but here
I turn up the heat a little more to get the crust
a little more golden brown
Out of the oven

Rich sandwich bread (breadmaker recipe):
2/3 cup warm water
1 1/2 tbsp grapeseed oil or canola oil
1 egg+2 egg whites
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast

Add all ingredients to the breadmaker in order. Bake on your usual basic bread setting–on mine it takes two hours and 40 minutes to knead the dough, let it rise, knead the dough, let it rise, and cook. That’s it… nice and simple! I don’t have any pictures of it baking along the way, but I do have a picture of my first use for it:

For hurricane day breakfast I had eggs overeasy with toast
to dip in it, along with green peppers with salt on the side.
This bread made great egg-dipping toast.

I also made a few sandwiches (tuna, peanut butter and jelly) and had some toast with jam for breakfast a few times. I ate a lot of the Italian Bread plain or with margarine (I ❤ Olivio), but I also made some cheeseless frenchbread pizzas and spread roasted garlic on some as well:

Spread with roasted garlic
French bread pizzas

The sandwich bread got stale/about to mold way before I could finish it (it really only lasted about four days), so I made croutons. Here’s the simple crouton recipe.

Croutons:
Chopped up stale bread
Your favorite salad dressing

Chop up the bread and cover with salad dressing. Let stand for a few hours. Spread out on a cookie sheet (covered, oiled) and cook at 250 degrees until the croutons are crisp. Let cool. I ended up putting mine back in the oven for a bit the next day because they weren’t crunchy enough, but that’s up to your tastes.

Here’s my finished croutons! I used Ken’s Steakhouse Light
Caesar Dressing, and they go great with any salad.

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