Tuesday, January 6, 2009

French Bread and Bruschetta

French Bread
This recipe for French Bread is from my cookbook/textbook, Professional Baking (4th edition) by Wayne Gisslen. From now on, any time I include a recipe from this book I'll just use an asterisk and give Mr. Gisslen his due credit at the bottom of my post. I modified the yield to make one small loaf, and I left out malt because I didn't have any. I also used butter instead of shortening.

4 oz warm water
0.1 oz active dry yeast
7 oz bread flour (all-purpose works too)
0.12 oz salt (a little more than 1/2 tsp)
0.12 oz sugar
0.12 oz softened butter

Soften the yeast in 0.4 oz of the warm water until it looks like gross light-brown goo (stir it a bit). Combine the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl (including the rest of the water). Mix it a bit, then add the yeast mixture and knead for several minutes until as much flour is worked into the dough as possible and it is nice and smooth.

Shape it into a ball, cover, and let rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size. Put it onto the pan it is to be baked on and form it into a long oval-ish shape. Score (cut) parallel slashes across the top of the loaf several times, nice and deep. Let it rest and rise for another 15 minutes or so.

Just before baking, re-shape and brush top & sides with a wash of egg whites and a little water. Sprinkle pepper, garlic powder, and parsely on top.
Bake in a preheated 400-425 degree oven until golden brown, with steam for the first 10 minutes (just throw a cupful of water into the oven once or twice).

It turned out looking really awesome!

This is my own Bruschetta recipe. Make it at least an hour before you want to eat it, so all the flavors can combine while it chills in the fridge.

1 medium-to-large tomato, diced
1 small green onion, finely chopped
1 tbs minced fresh garlic (1 huge clove or 2-3 smaller cloves)
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp capers
1/16 tsp each salt, pepper, & garlic powder
1/8 tsp each dried oregano, basil, & parsely

Combine & chill in fridge at least an hour. Serve on sliced French bread, topped with some Parmesan cheese. __

This recipe for French Bread and Bruschetta makes around 2-3 servings, depending on if it's an appetizer or you're eating it as a meal. A little less than half of the loaf plus 1/2 of the Bruschetta filled me up. Maybe I'm just being boastful, but I think my own Bruschetta kicks Olive Garden's Bruschetta's butt. :P

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