1 Hour French Bread

This was an interesting pin that I found a while back, and sadly, it’s been sitting on my bread board for a long time. We were having pasta two nights ago and my kids are so much more amenable to eating pasta when there is bread. I made the decision to try this. It’s come up before on my blog, I love bread a lot!
I’ve made banana bread, rosemary bread, beer bread, and that doesn’t even begin to cover the breadsticks and biscuits I’ve made. I guess you can tell I like bread, yes? Maybe it’s the French in me…..
Your ingredients will be
•2 1/2 cups warm water (borderline hot)
•2 tbsp yeast
•2 tbsp sugar
•1 tsp salt
•3 tbsp oil
•5 1/2 – 6 cups of flour
You’re going to start by putting your water in a bowl and sprinkle the yeast and sugar on top. Let that sit for about 5 minutes until it bubbles, like so:

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Next up, stir in the salt, oil and flour. Knead it together, adding flour as kneaded (haha), until it pulls away from the edge of the bowl. It’ll look a little like this:

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Best tip from here, again taken from the original blog, was to heat a cup of water in the microwave for 2 minutes. Afterwards, cover your bowl with a damp towel and place in the microwave for about 15 minutes. It’ll rise faster, to look like this:

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From here, you form it into 2 loaves. In a moment of wisdom, I decided the dough was only enough for one loaf. 5 minutes into baking time, I split it. Trust me, make 2 loaves! Place the loaves on a greased cookie sheet for baking. Slice some cuts in the top of the bread also. Like so:

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Here’s where I cut them during bake time:

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They looked a little stupid, but oh well! Let your bread sit and breathe a bit while your oven heats up to 375°. After your oven is up to temp, bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown.

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The bread was amazing! Especially with my homemade dipping oil!

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It was crunchy on the outside, warm and soft on the inside. In essence, perfect! Happy baking all!

Meatball Casserole

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This was a yummy little recipe that I found here and it was perfect for the Memorial Day picnic we went to on Saturday!
You start with a loaf of French (or Italian) bread. Slice your slices about 1″ thick and layer the bottom of your casserole dish.

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Any gaps you have, just fill in with chunks of bread. The website said the bread may get soggy, to prevent this toast your bread slightly, but I didn’t have a problem.
Next step is to take 8 oz of softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 tsp Italian seasoning and 1/4 tsp pepper and mix it all together. It looks a little gross, but it comes out ok, I promise. Layer this mixture over your bread and sprinkle a cup of shredded mozzarella on top of that.

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Next step is to mix 28 oz of pasta sauce with 1 lb frozen meatballs and place on top. I used Hunts sauce.

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Next step is to sprinkle another cup of mozzarella over the top.

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Last step is to bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes. I went for 35 due to the meatballs being frozen solid.
This was a big hit at the picnic and I know we’ll definitely be doing doing this again!
Happy cooking!