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| August 29, 2016


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soft italian bread.

Hello, it's been a while! But with good reason... you're going to love these next few posts.

A few years ago at the university, I met Kristian Irey. We both arrived as art majors and lived on the same dormitory floor. I marveled at her experience coming into college and skill behind a camera lens, and adored her carefree, determined spirit. Over the years, my friends and I would constantly remark, "One day I'm going to say, I knew her when!" She's getting there, if she isn't there already.

Kristian recently spent three months abroad with little more than a backpack and her camera gear, and the images she shares as a memoir of the trip are breathtaking. Do pay her website a visit and read through her blog! Not only did she so sweetly feature me on the blog, she shares gorgeous photography of her travels and other adventures. She's worth a look into!

That said, I happily took a break from trying to take pretty pictures and let Kristian do the dirty work instead! I learned plenty while watching her work her magic, and enjoyed having someone to send goodies off with so they wouldn't sit around the kitchen and tempt me mercilessly. :)

Onto the goods. Bread - finally! If the bagel is king of carbs, then sliced bread is its queen. Yes? Yes. So good.

I've been searching (not too fervently, but searching nonetheless) for a simple, not-too-complicated bread recipe. I want to get a little adventurous with bread doughs soon, but it's always wise to start small. Last night, I finally stumbled upon a combination that seemed painless and easy enough, and away we went, Suz baking and Kristian snapping away.

It's a good thing we didn't have an audience, because we were hilariously awkward. I still had on my dress from church, so Kristian wrapped me in burlap to hide the gaudy red stripes that were destroying her pretty background.

I now know that I will never be able to rock a potato sack.

There was also a tongue-tied comment of me being a bed breaker, which had the two of us rolling and my mind racing back to my junior year when Erin would jump from her bed to mine... adults? Who?

This bread is so easy. So, so easy. I messed it up and it was still soft and delicious. It was kneaded a bit too much and didn't quite have the opportunity to rise enough, but for the sake of photos it was worth it! My family is happily eating it toasted with butter - no complaints yet!

I wanted to turn this into garlic bread, but my mother stopped me cold. In her exact words, "Why ruin a good thing?!"

Looks like this is a recipe for the to-do-again box. I don't quite see how garlic, butter, and herbs are a bad thing, but momma's happy, so...

If you've ever wanted to experiment with homemade bread, I highly recommend this recipe. If you have a sturdy mixer, you won't even need to worry about kneading the dough. It's that simple. And did I mention it's soft?

It's soft. In the very best way.

Stay tuned for more posts featuring Kristian's work! There are plenty more wonderful recipes to share.

Soft Italian Bread

1 cups water
1¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
Cornmeal, for dusting

1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water; allow to proof for ten minutes or until foamy. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl combine ½ cup white whole wheat flour, 1¾ cups all purpose flour, and salt.

2. Slowly add yeast mixture to dry ingredients, adding additional flour as needed. Continuing mixing/kneading until the dough is picked up and forms a ball.

3. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover in a warm place. Allow to rise until doubled (approximately an hour).

4. Shape dough into a loaf and place onto a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal. Cover again and allow to rise for an additional thirty minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake for 25 minutes or until a golden crust forms. Enjoy!

Recipe from Baked by Rachel

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