Traditions

Artisan Free-Form French Boule (rosemary)

Here is the secret to that chewy crusty french loaves you spend $7 or more in fine bakeries. Add different ingredients to the base. This recipe Ive made as shown is one of my favorites, rosemary. First time making in the electric oven at The Inn. Im pretty pleased. Hope you enjoy.

Chewy, crusty, warm, hot out of oven, goodness

Ingredients

  • 6.5 c bread flour
  • 3 c hot tap water
  • 1 c hot tap water (oven steam bath)
  • 1.5 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dried Rosemary(optional)
  • Bakers stone, lipped cookie sheet and lip-less cookie sheet
  • 1 cup cornmeal

Im a bread machine lover- I don’t have full mobility of one arm so dough kneading is truly a task I struggle with. So Im gonna leave the bread kneading to you. You can use the dough setting on the bread machine, A dough hook with you Kitchen aide, or the glorious old fashion- dig in and mix it well by hand. Its a big batch so can rise over you bread machine well. Im use to cleaning that mess. Do not bake this recipe in your 5-7 cup bread machine. Only dough. This is a simple ingredient bread and the technique is the success. You have to steam these loaves for that amazing crust finish.

Add 2 c hot tap water salt and yeast to your large mixing bowl. Stir to incorporate but you don’t need yeast fully dissolved. Add rosemary then flour. Dough hook or mix until a smooth dough forms. Allow to rise in quiet warm setting lightly towel covered 1 hour. Now I use dough setting on my machine. Easy.

(Prep) Large lip-less cookie sheet cover with cornmeal for dough to rest after you form into loaves. Set aside. On floured surface – take dough and divide into four (4)- grapefruit sized portions. With floured hands and surface – take dough and round tucking dough under until you form an smooth round loaf. See pic. Place on top of corn meal to rest. Repeat for all 4 doughs. ( you can cover and refrigerate loaves 24 hours. )

Sticky and warm ready
for forming
Cornmeal for slide and dough to rest on
Divide floured dough to 4 parts and start to form tucking under in circular motion
Resting whilewaiting oven to heat 450 degrees
The most key step- lipped cookie sheet on bottom rack for steam bath. Hot stone above. Allow them to heat in oven as oven heats. I used my pizza peel but this was almost too small for this 4 loaf batch. next time Ill use my larger full sized sheet pan stone -invest in a stone. Mine have all been pampered Chef. Ive had for years- worth while investment. You can bake this on a cookie sheet but will not turn out as crusty.

While loaves rest on cornmeal. Heat oven with lipped cookie sheet on bottom rack and stone on middle rack. with serated flour knife- gently slice three scores on loaf tops. Just before they go in oven. Maybe 1/2 inch thick. Very satisfying to see loaves respond beautifully I wish I had video’d.

Get 1 cup hot tap water ready. This goes quick. once oven is hot hot- you want to slide loaves carefully onto stone -remember very hot.- the cornmeal allows this to move with ease. A pizza peel you can quick wrist slide. Add hot water to bottom pan fast fast – steams hot!! Close oven door fast. You want steam to be in oven. Its making that crunchy chewy crust we love. Don’t peek! Bake 25 minutes.

So easy! Be creative with your base. I personally love the flavors rosemary brings. You can leave plain, add roasted garlic, olives, Italian herbs, sprinkle w sea-salt flakes, poppy seeds. Sesame… yum. great gifts. Will freeze but shelf life is short- only 2 days. Store in paper bag or wax paper. So eat it up! You will never buy $7 bakery loaves again. You’re welcome❤️

Traditions

Easy Entertaining with a Charcuterie Board

When the book club of ladies come to visit- a charcuterie board can give everybody something they can enjoy. Fresh cheeses, fruit, crackers, olives, pickles and nuts. I also like to throw in some chocolates, jams and honey to bring it together. Crowd pleaser.

Start with your cheeses. Odd numbers are good. So three or 5 in a variety. I have a nice cheese ball of dried cranberry and herbs pre-made and centered. A firm but creamy gouda sliced and then a marinated mozzarella. Be creative and make it varied. This was a tray for 5.

After placing your cheeses. Fill in tight with your meats. I buy a simple prepackaged variety already sliced. Get a pack with four or more choices. Fold the larger cuts to fan around the cheeses and easy access for individuals to enjoy. Bring in small vessels of sizes of jams, olives, pickles … ect. Honey I placed in a creamer pitcher and added a honey comb server. So cute!

Add your fruit to fill in gaps. Then tuck your variety of crackers and breads about the platter. Add crackers right before serving so they don’t get soggy or soft. Add your utensils and plates and stand back to appreciate the masterpiece. You want lots of utensils so no double dipping and individual plates. Its always so Delicious!!!

Traditions

Memories In A Jar Of Jam

Fresh picked from the back porch

As a kid- we spend the hot summer days playing in the creek, jumping on the huge inflated tractor tire tube or hanging on the porch eating grapes. The hot sun would sugar them so nicely and that sweet aroma would surround you. Dirt under our nails never slowed us down- delicious. So when my brother offered a bucket from the family porch- I instantly went to work capturing that in a jar for winter.

I cant say its difficult. Having the right tools is key and having it all ready to go because hot jam is well, hot. So you dont want to be scrambling for items during the process.

Items you need.

Washed and dried jars, sealing lids and rings. A good fine mesh drainer. Potato masher. Ladle that can take hot liquid. High temp large spoon or spatula. Canning funnel. (Mine is a antique from Jasons grandmother) large pot to water bath. A smile and 1 hour.

5 cups processed fruit- after cooked down so about 8 cups shucked grapes rinsed well and no stems( I think shuck is the right word)

7 cups sugar. Yep. I wont say more.

1 cup water

1 pack of surejel brand pectin. Keep it easy

Fresh picked and ripe. to ripe will have to much sugar content and affect your set. If it smells like wine- you missed your chance to jam. Make wine!
Rinse well after shucking from stems. If you miss some – the strainer will catch later.
Cook fruit w 1 cup water at a low boil for ten minute until you see it breaks down and really smells vibrant. Stirring often.

Strain over heat resistant bowl and mash fine pulp and just through strainer. Discard skins, seeds and other items.

Measure 5 full cups pulp and liquid back to clean pot. Add pectin. Bring to rolling boil. Add sugar. Bring to a rolling boil that wont stir down. Set timer 1 minute at this hot continual boil. Then take off heat. Skim off foam. Ladle into hot jars. 1/4 inch from top. Seal with lid and ring. If you preheat jars in oven. (225 degreed) and hot water bath lids You dont need to water bath seal. If not- water bath 10 min.

Grammas canning funnel.
I like to heat jars in oven and handle with car. Super hot. This is a trick learned from Jasons Mom Ann. It creates a hot seal immediately and bypass water seal. I only do this w Jam.
Only big jars- small ones were hard to find. So I made 5 good sized jars of heaven!

Follow the sur-jel instructions and have fun. Its so nice to have good jam in the winter to top your toast and take you to a summer memory.