fabulous eep tea towel by heather moore (skinny laminx)
i have a basic bread recipe that i printed back in 1997. although it's spotted with dots of olive oil and the ink is blurred, it says that it belongs to emeril lagasse and it must have been from the foodnetwork website. i try other bread recipes but have to admit that i go back to this one again and again.
50 grams fresh yeast (or 1 envelope dry yeast)
2 T olive oil
2 T sugar
2 C warm water
2 T sea salt
6 C organic wheat flour
mix the yeast, olive oil, sugar and water in the bowl of your mixer with the dough hook attached. mix to combine and allow it to begin to froth, activating the yeast. add the flour and sea salt a bit at a time, until it's all combined, continue to mix on the dough hook until it's well-kneaded. i do this entirely with the mixer, because i'm always making this bread in the midst of half a dozen other preparations. although this robs me of the pleasure of the contact with the dough, the kitchenaid does it brilliantly and frees me to get lots of other things done in the meantime. when the dough seems elastic and is gathered into a tight ball, transfer it to a greased bowl and cover with a tea towel to rise. if you have a warm room or a fireplace, it only needs about an hour to double in size, especially if you use a block of fresh yeast (i've never seen that in the US, so our american friends may have trouble finding it and dry yeast works just fine).
while your dough is rising, prepare the following:
stuffing (mine varies every time, this reflects the pictures)
1 jar pesto (i used artichoke this time, but use whatever you have on hand)
1 package bacon, fried 'til crispy
2 C hard cheeses, grated (i used goat gouda, sage gouda and prima donna)
handful of thyme
handful of sage
3 eggs, beaten
when the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured board, fold it over and knead it, then roll it out into a 8-10" wide length of dough that's about 24"-30" long. spread the pesto down the center of the dough, then add the bacon, herbs, cheese. make a little trough down the center of the cheese and add the beaten eggs in the trough, to hold them. then fold the edges over and pinch them together. move it to a baking tray covered with baking paper, making it a circle by pinching the dough together. cover it with a tea towl and allow it to rise for an hour (i've skipped this when in a hurry and it's actually been fine). bake for 40+ minutes at 175℃/350℉. you can tell it's done by knocking gently on it, it just sounds crispy and done (try it you'll know what i mean).
i try to serve it still warm and it warms up nicely again in the oven, should it cool off. you can actually stuff it with whatever you have in your fridge...a jar of basil pesto or a fresh pesto you make yourself (i do that in the summer when i have the basil at hand), artichokes, olives, parma ham, chorizo, a mushroom mixture, boiled eggs (jamie's recipe calls for boiled eggs), leftover roast chicken, whatever cheese you have at hand. as for the dough, you can also mix spelt flour or another whole wheat flour with the regular flour, for a more dense texture, but i have to admit that i prefer it with ordinary organic white flour. but pretty much regardless of what i've stuffed this bread with, it's a big hit whenever you assemble a group of people.
a very grand time was had by all.
* * *
and my best ever carved pumpkin:
a very grand time was had by all.