Home Made Bread - Brooklyn Style
A Braided French Bread
Making the Dough
There's absolutely nothing like home baked bread and it's so easy to make. There are several ways in which to make the dough but my favorite is with my Bread Macnine because I can simply put all of my ingredients into the machine and t\set it to "Dough" and then it takes about an hour and a halt for it to mix, knead and rise the dougg to the exact consistency it needs to be.
If you don't have a bread machine you can use a good stand mixer which has a dough hook or you can mix it by hand which takes a lot more work and time.
So I use my bread machine but only for making the dough. If you don't have a bread machine you can easily find one in a thrift store as many people buy them and use them once or twice and then discard them. I think that's because they simply never take the time to learn how to use them to produce good quality bread which one can enjoy on a daily basis.
I will give you the recipe I use which comes out perfect every time regardless if you are making a small loaf or a large loaf. So just follow the recipe below which is for a bread machine.
You will think you have stepped back in time or have just walked into Mazzolla's bakery or Caputo's Bakery - the best bakery's in Brooklyn NY
Can't wait to get started? Fast delivery and great price on the bread machine I use from Amazon below!
The Recipe for French Bread
BreadMakers for Old Fashioned Recipes
Instructions are for the French Bread
The following instructions are for the French Bread. The Sourdough will be covered in a future Hub.
1 Pound Loaf Dough Divided Into # Parts For Braiding
Shape the dough into an oblong piece and then cut it with a sharp knife into 3 equal pieces.
Three Long Rolls for Braiding
Roll each piece between the palms of your hands until they are about 15 inches long.
Press the ends of all three pieces together so that you can braid it.
Braid the bread much the same way as you would braid a child's hair. When finished be sure and press the ends together at the bottom of the braid
Stretch the braided loaf so that it is about 12 inches long for the small loaf or 18 for the large. Place the loaf on a piece of parchment paper so that it is easy to place in the over by simply sliding the parchment paper right into the oven. Parchment paper does not burn.
Make an egg wash by whipping an egg slightly and put in about a teaspoon of cold watch whip together.
Then brush on top of bread. This helps to keep the sesame seeds on the bread as well as giving it a golden brown color
Then sprinkle with Sesame Seeds ( I get mine from the Publix Bakery or you can order in bulk online). Then I sprinkle lightly with some sea salt for added flavor.
Cover and let rise for about 1/2 hour or until doubled in bulk. Keep in a warm place out of a draft.
Place in a hot oven about 450 degrees by sliding the parchment paper with the bread right onto the stone. If you do not have a stone then you can add 2 bricks in the bottom of your over and that will help to keep an even heat. But if you like this type of bread then the investment in the stone insert is well worth it. Mine was a gift from my Children.
As you can see the top of my stone is black due to the many years of baking bread and Pizza.
When the bread is well browned and has a hollow sound when you thump it then it's done! So remove it from the oven
And place it on a wire rack so that the steam can escape without making your bread limp.
Get The Full Effect!
Use a colorful Rustic type cloth and dress it up. I want the full effect and you'll be surprised how much more you enjoy it when it Looks Good, Tastes Good and Smells Good!
Show It Off In a Bread Basket.
Once it has cooled you can then place it on a cloth or in a bread basket until ready to eat! I have dozens I have collected over the years and some of my favorite things are from thrift stores. Guess it's the nostalgia in me because many donated things are from my era and cannot be found in Saks Fifth Avenue! LOL!
Here you can see the inside of the loaf and the consistency is perfect. I always like to Break the bread as opposed to slicing because you get so much more flavor that way or so it seems to me but it could just be childhood memories still dancing in my head. We like to dunk our bread in sauces or coffee and by breaking the bread there are many little nooks and crannies to soak up the sauce. Although my boys are all married with children of their own it never fails that the first thing they do when they come to our house on Sunday's and we have the Pasta and Gravy cooking that the first thing they do is break a piece of bread and dunk it in the sauce. I wouldn't have it any other way.
That's me many years ago when I was still a young bride. I have always loved cooking and of course in the 50's and 60's every young girl wanted nothing more than to please her family with wonderful food and watch their eye's light up! What a great time we have had! You can read about it in our book "Life On The Stoop" which is available at amazon.com both in bound 8 x 10 Glossy cover Coffee Table book or as a Kindle version.
I often wonder - Do people Entertain anymore? LOL
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Who ate the ends off the bread? my mother in law would ask as Phil returned home from Caputo's bakery in Brooklyn with bread for the evening meal.