$0.31 per loaf 82% savings save $20.55 yearly
HELLO, everyone!!! I'm BACK!
Life the last couple months has been... busy. That's a nice way to put it. When things get "busy", I tend to start dropping the ball on some things.
This blog was an unfortunate casualty, since it's more a hobby than anything else.
However, today it is officially resuscitated!!!
YAY!!! Now... I have to admit the craziness isn't quite over. My family has a move staring us in the face the end of June. But, I'll do my darndest on this thing, and didn't want it to sit idle any longer. I've MISSED this!
Without further ado, I'm going to jump into today's (super-amazing-delicous) post:
Yesterday was my sister-in-law's birthday.
Lacey and I are the same age, we each have four little
monsters children who are about the same age, and our hubbies are the same age. She is a beautiful wife and mother, teaches yoga classes free of charge to whoever wants to learn, and has a sweet, serviceable attitude that I greatly admire. I love her to death, and give my brother a mental high-five for his good thinking every time I get to hang out with her.
I happen to be fortunate enough to live a mere 12 minutes away from her.
Unfortunately, I happen to be on a tight budget.
Fortunately, I know that food made by someone else is one of the best gifts a girl (especially one with children) can get.
Fortunately, I know how to cook.
Fortunately, homemade French Bread is definitely in my gift-giving budget.
...You can guess what she got for her birthday.
I love this french bread recipe so much! I could probably eat a whole loaf by myself. (Okay... I may have actually eaten a whole loaf by myself in the past. Zero regrets.)
The recipe is pretty much no-fail, and tastes divine!... The only time it's NOT no-fail is when ingredients are left out... like yesterday's first attempt. More on that in a second.
The crust comes out super crisp, and crackles slightly upon cooling, resulting in a crisp and chewy exterior. The middle is pillowy soft and light, making for the perfect combination of textures that your mouth will ever have the pleasure of experiencing.
So, yesterday morning found me happily baking in the kitchen. The Piano Guys were blaring on my mini old-school kitchen stereo. (Blaring in an attempt to drown out the sounds of "Mary had a Little Lamb" coming from a baby toy playing on repeat at the hands of my 2-year old...) The loaf came out looking beautiful.
But... something wasn't quite right. I cut off the end to taste, and was completely dismayed.
I had forgotten the salt. Blech. Bland as could be. Apparently, I had left half of my brain back in bed.
The unsuitable bread was given an unceremonious trash can funeral.
Round two required Imagine Dragons and the other half of my brain, and went exactly as planned:
Check it out:
My rolled up loaf ready to rise
Post-rise, and ready for a quick egg wash and decorative slices
Ready for the oven...
Favorite French Bread
*Makes 1 loaf
1 cup luke-warm water
2 tsp. dry active yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. oil
3/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 - 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. oil (for coating dough)
*opt. 1 well-beaten egg + 1 Tbsp. water (brush on loaf before baking for a shiny exterior)
In a large bowl, or standing mixer, combine warm water, yeast, sugar, and oil. Let sit at least 10 minutes. Add the salt and 2 1/2 cups flour. Mix the ingredients to form a very slightly sticky ball of dough, adding more flour by Tbsp. if needed to create the right consistency. Mix for 8-10 minutes.
Using your hands, lightly coat the ball of dough with 1 tsp oil. Cover and let rise till doubled in size (1- 1/2 hours).
Punch down the dough, and knead it for 5 minutes.
Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Using your hands, flatten the dough into approximately a 12x6-inch rectangle. Starting with a long side of the rectangle, roll the dough into a log. Pinch the seams and ends together.
Cover and let rise 30 minutes on the baking sheet. Uncover, and if desired, lightly coat in an egg wash made from one well-beaten egg and 1 Tbsp water. Using a very sharp knife or razor, gently make 1/4-inch deep slices on top of the loaf. While the oven pre-heats, allow the dough to rise, uncovered, an additional 10 - 15 minutes.
Once the oven has reached 450 degrees, place the loaf on the top rack, quickly pour 2 Tbsp. of cold water (or ice cubes) on the bottom of the oven, and shut the door. (The steam from the water in the pan, and the water on the bottom of the oven creates a crispy/chewy crust.)
Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees. Lower the heat to 375 degrees and bake an additional 15 minutes. Crust will be golden brown, and hard to the touch.
Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on a wire rack at least 5 minutes.
~ Savings ~
2 lb. dry active yeast - $4.68 = 48 T = $0.098/T = $0.065
25 lb. sugar - $13.94 = 945 T = $0.015/T = $0.005
1 gallon oil - $6.78 = 256 T = $0.026/T = $0.035
25 lb. flour - $7.73 = 94.5 C = $0.082/C = $0.205
26 oz. salt - $0.44 = 48 T = $0.009/T = $0.002
Total = $0.31
Walmart Marketside French Bread Loaf = $1.68
"Over a Year" Scenario:
Buy 15 Marketside French Bread loaves = $25.20
Make 15 Favorite French Bread loaves = $4.65
Money Saved = $20.55