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About the Header Image: Idlebrook Wendy Darling Evensen, the baby of our family.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Bread for Centerpieces

Christmas Party Bread for Centerpieces

My daughter, Catherine, was the co-chairperson for our local AKC dog club party last Christmas. She asked me to go into mass production of home made bread to make the bases for the centerpieces and here is the result. This is bread for 140 people at the party: two centerpieces on each table of ten people. I made 30 loaves in one day which was quite a challenge with only a double oven. That was 28 loaves for the party, one for a friend, and one for my family to eat at home.

It became a production line with the bread machine running constantly, a batch of bread rising in one oven, the batch before baking in the other oven, and even more bread cooling on my dining room table. The whole thing was accomplished in about nine hours and there was no time to waste so I made a very basic, but tasty bread.

I can't take credit for the nifty skewers and presentation in the picture. Those were beautifully done by another lady on the Christmas party committee.  Catherine took the picture that you see here.

Catherine and I looked long and hard for the appropriate containers to make the size and shape loaf she envisioned for this project. Eventually, my husband and I found one quart clear glass Pryex bowls at our Corning outlet store. We bought 24 bowls and I'm happy to have them for this and other uses in the future. In addition to baking, I look forward to using them as salad bowls for individual seven layer salads. That'll be another recipe another day.

Simple Egg Bread

This recipe makes three loaves as pictured.

You'll need:

3 one quart glass Pyrex straight-side bowls for baking.

1 egg

2 T vegetable oil

1 t salt

2 t sugar

1-1/4 cup milk

3-1/2 cups bread flour - all purpose works, too, but don't use self-rising flour

2 T commercial yeast

In a large capacity bread machine, place all the recipe items in the order given. Set to bread dough, and turn on. Be sure to watch what's happening and add a little water or flour to be sure the mixture becomes a formed, smooth ball. When the first bread dough mixing/kneading cycle finishes (about 30-40 mins), remove dough from machine and place in large bowl that has been sprayed with vegetable oil. Put in a warm place and allow to rise to double size. I have a double oven in my kitchen so I turn on the oven light (not the heat) and use the lower oven for bread rising. If you don't put it in a small covered space such as an oven, cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set the bowl in a place out of cool drafts.

Spray three Pryex bowls with vegetable oil. Heat upper oven to 350 degrees F.

When the dough has risen, it's time to punch it down again. Put some vegetable oil on your hands and divide dough into three equal parts. Knead, spank, slap around the dough to remove as many bubbles as possible. Form each third into a round loaf and place each into a Pryex bowl. Return it to that lower oven or other warm place to rise again.

After the dough rises, it's time to move it to the top oven that has been set to 350 degrees F and bake for 45 minutes.  When finished, immediately turn out to racks to cool.

If your windows are open, be prepared for neighbors to arrive in search of the origin of the wonderful aromas that will fill your home and spill out into your neighborhood.

Of course, this bread has no preservatives so it won't last for weeks as some store-bought bread seems to do.  So, eat and enjoy immediately or plan to feed the birds or make bread pudding on the third day.

I make different types of bread every day when I'm home. I'll share some of the other recipes here in the future.

Comments or questions are welcome.




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