For the longest time, I've wanted to visit food swaps throughout the country
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Well, I guess I should say the world
(France registered their first swap a couple of months ago, but that will be for another day)
First up, Chicago
My husband and I pondered long and hard about what to bring
There was pressure; we wanted to have a warm and fuzzy about what we were making. Trying a brand new recipe seemed way too risqué.
Lots of suggestions abound, but in the end, we decided to bring mustard and bread.
Not any bread mind you, but a flavorful twist on my favorite peasant bread. We added garlic (all things good contain roasted garlic) and rosemary as our spice
The night before we left, bread was everywhere. Small loaves, big loaves, and dough rising in on the back porch. The house smelled insanely good.
(ps: Fellow swappers, it's a good idea to bring several sizes of your item to the swap. Why?
Let's say you REALLY want to come home with Sara's strawberry jam. You might offer her one of your bigger loaves to entice her to swap. Or, maybe someone else has a really small portion of something (ex: a spice combo), and they'd like to swap with you for bread. You could pull out a smaller loaf and say, “Yep, I'm in”)
I couldn't have asked for it to have turned out better
For transport, we begged paper bread bags from a local bakery, which worked perfectly.
To stay at the top of our game with freshness and flavor, the last stop before heading to the swap was a local restaurant to ask if they'd warm our sample loave. Better yet, they ran them through their pizza oven!
Everybody commented as the smell of homemade bread filled the kitchen.
I hope you enjoy making it as much as we did. All twelve loaves we brought were swapped for other tasty treats.
Lessons learned. When you make bread with your favorite flavors to take to a swap, save a loaf for yourself!
A few additional notes:
Roasted garlic is one of my all-time favorite things. A couple of times/month I head to Costco, buy a large bunch, roast them up, and keep them in my fridge for everyday cooking. There isn't a hint of the garlic bite, no need to run for your toothbrush when you're done eating. It's fantastic. I note it here; if you use regular garlic as a substitute, it will be too strong. If that's what you have on hand, reduce the amounts to your liking
The size of the baking bowls used for this recipe are small, one quart Pyrex, but that's just a guide to get you going. I've used all sized vessels, larger and smaller. Adjusting the size of the dough formed. For example, if you have a 2-quart size container, form the entire amount of dough and adjust the baking time up 5 or 6 minutes. If you have smaller ramekin size containers, quarter the total amount and reduce the baking time by 5 or 6 min. If the bread looks light when it's flipped out of the vessel, pop it back in the oven for a few minutes
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~ Adapted from My Favorite Peasant Bread
Rosemary, Garlic, and Olive Oil Bread
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 3 -4 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped fine
- 6 heads roasted garlic, divided
- 1 ¾ cups lukewarm water
- ¼ cup garlic olive oil
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp active dry yeast, at room temperature
- 2 Tbsp butter
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour and the salt. Set aside.
- Grease a separate large bowl with butter or olive oil and set this aside.
- In a small bowl, combine 2 of cloves roasted garlic with 2 Tbsp butter.
- In a small mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar into the water and olive oil. Sprinkle the yeast over the top. Let it stand for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture is foamy and bubbling just a bit. This ensures the yeast is active
- Add the flours, salt, and rosemary, and roasted garlic and mix. (The original recipe outlines stirring with a wooden spoon, which works, but I like to use my mixer with the dough hook and let it go for 4 or 5 minutes on medium speed)
- The dough will be on the wet side.
- Transfer to the greased bowl from step 1. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot to rise for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 425º F. Grease two oven-safe bowls (quart size or a bit bigger) with the garlic butter.
- Punch down your dough, scraping it from the sides of the bowl.
- Divide into 2 equal parts, scooping up each half and placing into on your floured counter-top. Quickly form a ball with each part and transfer them to your prepared bowls.
- Let the dough rise until it's again doubled in size.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 425° F. Reduce the heat to 375º F and bake for 22 to 25 minutes longer.
- Remove from the oven and turn the loaves onto cooling racks. If the bowls have been greased well, the loaves should easily fall onto the cooling racks. If they look a little pale and soft, pop them back into the oven (outside of their bowls) and let them bake for (ish) 5 minutes more.
- Let cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting.