Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Making Asiago bread

Mary Susannah and I LOVE to go to Central Market.  It's not your everyday shopping experience.  The products are natural and mostly organic.  Everything in the whole store is on Tommy's diet so I can toss anything into my cart without stopping to read labels.  There's Gelato, an Italian ice cream that son Gage introduced us too. We each get a cone of that and eat it while we shop.  All over the stores there are samples of the most wonderful things.  In one part, a lady cooks fish and meat and all kinds of delightful stuff, and hands out little plates for you to sample.  There are flowers that Mary Susannah and Angel-Leah beg me to buy, and they are gorgeous and smell like heaven.  Mary Susannah has discovered their cupcakes and we always buy them.  They melt in your mouth like butter.
And the bread...oh, the bread...I always come home with several different kinds and a big watermelon, and that's my lunch.

I love making bread anyway.  So last time I was in HEB, which owns Central Market, by the way, and I saw Asiago cheese, I grabbed it right up and decided to make a Raley version of my favorite Central Market bread.

First thing to do is grind the wheat.  If you are going to make bread, it's good to make it right, and start off with freshly ground wheat:

Next, get the bread machine out.  No, it's not what you think.  The bread machine only kneads the bread for me.  I never mastered the art of kneading, and with a $40 bread machine from Walmart, I don't have to anymore.  Start with 2 cups of warm water, and add 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/8 cups of molasses, 1/4 cup of honey, 1 tsp salt, all in that order.  Then add six cups of wheat flour:

I didn't know how much cheese to add.  I finally settled on a cup of shredded Asiago cheese:

Then make a little well in the top and add 3 tsp of bread machine yeast.  Close the top, put the bread machine on the dough setting, and go get your chicken chores done while it kneads the bread for you.
Or I guess if you don't have chickens, you will have to find something else to do.  Shouldn't be hard...

An hour and a half later, the dough is kneaded.  Grease your hands, take the dough out, punch it a few times to get the air bubbles out, and put it into well greased bread pans.  Pampered Chef ones are great:

The three little kids always want some dough when I make bread.  It's so important to them, that when the buzzer on the bread machine went off, Luke headed for the pasture where I was untangling a goat, Tommy tagging along, both of them barefoot, to make sure I knew he was waiting for that part.  He almost missed it because of the stickers he had to pull out of his feet before he could walk again!

Put the dough in a warm oven to rise for twenty minutes, then turn the over on 350 degrees for twenty five minutes.  Once done, rub butter on the tops and you are ready for hot fresh bread!

Of course, if you are taking pictures to write a blog, one loaf is bound to not be fluffy and pretty, but that's okay, it still tasted good.  Just ask my taste tester!

Angel-Leah would literally live on homemade bread and cheese if I would let her.  And the nice thing about this bread is the cheese is already inside!

Well, okay, it didn't taste a thing like Central Market's Asiago bread.  For one thing, theirs has big chunks of cheese, and I only found shredded.  And next time I try this, because I will try it again, I'm going to make sure I have a label from their bread in front of me.  It needed more cheese, that's one thing.

But wow, it was GOOD!!

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