Friday, July 9, 2010
Peasant bread is compact and chewy, and just salty enough to eat alone. Although it is better with butter and jam. Or mayb swiss cheese and ham finger sandwiches.
When Cousin Danny Donahue's new wife came over for her first Christmas at my grandmother's house, my mother remembered her bringing homemade beer and Peasant Bread. They left the homemade beer and keep Mrs. Donahue and her Peasant Bread. I think of it as my mom's bread. For every "dinner" that my mother ever baked there was Peasant Bread.
I made my first Peasant Bread last Sunday. I accepted my Southern Indiana based family baking legacy and it was delicious...
Btw - I did ask my mother's permission before posting this. She said yes. I am currently retyping her recipe word for word (***with just a couple of notes)
Everyday Peasant Bread
Bake About 30 minutes
4 Cups Flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
1 pkg. dry yeast powder
1/4c warm water
1 Tbs. sugar
1 1/2c water- warm enough to activate the yeast, but not hot enough to kill it (***author's note: 3 shades warmer than lukewarm)
1. Mix flour salt, 2 tsp. sugar together
2. In a small bowl dissolve the yeast in 1 1/2c warm water (the one that is warm, but not hot)
3. Combine yeast & dry ingredients
4. Add the 1 Tbs. sugar and 1 1/2c warm water to mix
5. Stir together all ingredients just until all are thoroughly mixed. Don't overmix (***just until it looks like heavy bread dough, it will be a little sticky)
6. Remove from the bowl, form into a ball, and return to the mixing bowl
7. Let sit 1 1/2 hours in a warm place in the kitchen. Do not grease or cover the bowl.
8. Shape dough into 2 skinny loaves and place side by side on a greased - or use Pam (the prior comment is my mom's author's note on her mother's recipe. I say use butter. it tastes better) baking sheet. Pinch loaves to make them taller.
9. Let rise 30 more minutes
10. Bake about 1/2 hour at 375 degrees. Bread is done when bottom is browned and looks slight brown on top.