Ok, guys. It’s high time we start taking it up a notch by making our own bread, a baguette to be exact. I can’t tell you how helpful this has been when throwing parties. Make a quick baguette (you don’t have to wait hours for this one to rise. It takes roughly an hour for prep and baking), bake it and cut it up. You can use the recipes we gave you for crostini, or toast, or go crazy with your own toppings! Whatever your heart desires. Sayonara store bought bread.
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 tsp active dry yeast (Told you you’d use all of the yeast eventually)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- **1 egg white wash (optional)
In a mixing bowl, combine the lukewarm water with the yeast. Whisk together then let it sit for roughly 10 minutes. Using a dough hook on slow speed, add all of the salt, and begin adding in the flour 1 cup at a time. If you don’t have a dough hook, you can mix together with a whisk or spatula. You should begin to see a soft dough form. If it’s still too wet and sticky, add a bit more flour. Take the dough out of the bowl and place on a floured surface. Let it sit for 5 minutes. (Sorry guys, I know this is a test of patience. I usually go wash the dishes I just used. Two birds, one stone.)
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, and grease a cookie sheet or baguette pan. Using a greased knife, cut the dough in half and roll it out into a log/baguette. **If you want a crispy crust, whisk the egg white and brush on top of the dough. Place the dough on the sheet or pan, and make 3 small, even slits across the top of each baguette. Bake for 15 minutes. Leaving the dough in the oven, turn it up to 400 degrees for another 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 350 for another 10 minutes.
Happy Eating, XO.
This is the first summer I’m attempting to grow an herb garden. (I say attempt because it could still all go down hill.). In it, I have chives, basil, cilantro, and peppermint, and by some act of God, I haven’t killed any of them yet. If I haven’t mentioned this already, I have a black thumb. I can barely keep a fake tree alive…
Well, I’m getting to a point where I have too many herbs and I can’t use them fast enough. I started researching some simple, “whip-it-together” recipes that I can use these herbs in and came across this fantastic food blog – Veggie & The Beast, and their literal “whip-it” style recipe. I made this for a BBQ last weekend and it was a hit. It’s so delish and refreshing, and the basil from my garden was the perfect topping.
Whipped Basil Ricotta
- 1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta
- ¾ cup fresh basil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste)
- 5 ounces cream cheese, softened
Strawberry Balsamic Crostini
- 1 (15-ounce) whole wheat baguette
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ pound strawberries, hulled and chopped
- ¼ cup basil, sliced or chopped
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- Place the ricotta and ¾ cup basil in a food processor, and process until smooth. There may be some small pieces of basil left, but the color of the ricotta should be a light green. Add salt and cream cheese, and pulse a few times until the cream cheese is fully incorporated. Taste and add more salt if you’d like.
- Pour the balsamic into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, until it has reduced by half. Set aside to cool while you get the other ingredients ready (it will thicken slightly in this time)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Slice the baguette into ¼-inch slices. Brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle the top of the bread with salt.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden.
- Slice or chop the additional ¼ cup fresh basil leaves for garnish.
- Let the baked bread cool for 5 minutes, then spoon on the basil ricotta, top with strawberries and additional sliced basil, and finish with a drizzle of the balsamic glaze.