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Friday, March 29, 2013

Sun Dried Tomato and Basil French Bread

Today my family left to go back to Oregon.  I must admit my heart is sad.  It is hard to live away from the family I love.  I really wish my daughter and her family lived close enough to be a regular part of our lives.   So this afternoon I have time off and a way too quiet and empty house.  One of the things I like to do when it is a hard day is make bread.  So today, after having a good cry, this is the recipe I chose to make.  It is an easy recipe and a good one to try if you have never made bread before.  You just need to allow time for the bread to raise.

1 pkg. yeast (or  1 T.)
1 1/4 c. warm water
1 T. dried basil
2 t. olive oil
1 1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. sun dried tomatoes
4 c. flour (all purpose or bread flour)

In a large bowl, pour the water.  Whisk in yeast, salt, basil, olive oil and salt.  Whisk well.  Stir in sun dried tomatoes.  Stir about 3 cup of the flour gradually into the yeast mixture.  Add enough flour that the dough is no longer sticky and begins to form a ball.  Place on a floured surface and knead until smooth...about 3 minutes.  Form the dough into a ball and place in a buttered large bowl.  Let rise in a warm place to rise for one hour.
Divide dough in half.  For each loaf, shape the dough into a long loaf.  Place onto a greased baking sheet.  Allow to rise again for 30-45 minutes.
Before baking take a very sharp knive and cut a 3/4" deep slash through the dough about every 2".
Bake at 425 for 18 minutes.

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