LJ-Picturing Food, 3.26.06: my first loaf of bread

Tonight was Mangia!, our ladies' night Italian potluck. Instead of bringing an entree or dessert like everyone expected, I decided to make something I've never made--a loaf of yeast bread.

I started the yeast before I went to work, then added the last of the flour when I got home and let it go through it's final rise:

Then I shaped it into an oval:

Gave it a cross-hatching scoring (I thought about doing a design, but I wasn't sure how that would work):

And sliced it up:

The bread was pretty plain by itself. I guess that's in accordance with it's rustic nature? I wasn't too impressed. The recipe description from Joy of Cooking calls it a "rough and ready bread, satisfying on its own, ideal for Bruschetta and as a foundation for bread soups." I decided to keep it simple and just put it on the buffet table with a shallow dish of olive oil and paint brush, and some roasted garlic. That made it so much better, and we finished off most of the loaf, which was pretty good. After I brought the last few slices home to my housemate, I drizzled a couple slices with olive oil and a couple with butter, put garlic on them, and toasted them in the oven. WAY GOOD. I love roasted garlic. It smears on like soft cream cheese and it's easy to make.


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