Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More Bread and Delicious Eggs

After my exciting and surprisingly easy success with making bread, I decided to make fresh bread for everyone the next morning. Sure we had pasta and bread for dinner the night before but carbs are ok when you’re on vacation. I followed the same easy ciabatta recipe from the previous post except I subbed 2 cups of wheat flour to make wheat bread. The result was delicious.

Wheat Ciabatta
2 cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour 
½ teaspoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoons dry yeast
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ¾ cups luke warm water
Olive oil
Combine flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add the water and mix together with your hands. The dough will be very sticky and wet. To make the pockets of air that are so good in ciabatta, pull at different parts of the dough and stretch it up high, then slap it back down. Do this for about five minutes. Pour about 1 tablespoon of oil over the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and allow dough to rise for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. When the dough has risen, pour it onto the baking sheet, taking care to fold the dough over on itself to create a loaf shape. It is not necessary to knead the dough because you want to keep the air pockets in for texture. Bake the dough for 25-30 minutes or until it is golden and sounds hollow when tapped.

 We made scrambled eggs and bacon to go with the bread and served it with lots of fresh fruit from the farmers market up the street. I usually prefer eggs over easy but I’ve been on a big scrambled eggs kick ever since I got home because my parents have been buying fresh eggs from their neighbors. They charge us $2.50 for a dozen eggs and they just use the money to cover the cost of food. The chickens have free range of their large, fenced in yard and they are fed a diverse and organic diet. The last time we picked up eggs, we asked how long the eggs last and he informed us that they are good for months. In fact, the eggs sold in grocery stores are usually a month or two old already!! They are obviously better when they are fresh and I really notice a difference in these eggs. The yolks are such a vibrant color and they are so round. I tried to take a picture but it really didn’t do them justice.

I did a little research about the benefits of cage-free eggs and found the following links. I am obviously not an expert and my research is limited, but it seems like there is evidence to suggest that they are healthier. Plus the humane benefits for the chickens are reason enough to make an effort to buy fresh, cage-free eggs. Obviously not everyone has neighbors with chickens but most farmers markets have vendors with good e

Here are the eggs from our neighbors. Aren't they so pretty?!

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