Easy Italian Herbed Bread

What’s the greatest smell on the planet? If you are anything like me you quickly replied…” the inside of a bakery of course”!! I’ve always loved wandering through a gourmet bakery, chosing fresh bread for the evening’s meal…but you know what I found? It’s just not CENTSIBLE…(partly because the bread is much too expensive and largely because I end up buying eight thousand other things I DON”T need!) So I asked my momma for some help…and as momma’s do… she completely came through for us girls!  But I have to warn you…you may need to rethink your answer to the aforementioned question. I firmly believe the greatest smell on the planet will be your exact address, precisely 16.5 minutes after you pop this masterpiece in the oven…but patience is a virtue!! Our lovely loaf must finish baking ladies. This bread is such a beautiful touch for any dinner, and great for sanwiches too! What’s even better is that I’m sure you already have all these ingredients on your shelf right now…so what are you waiting for? Grab your apron and get busy girls! Oh and by the way throw a lil flour on your face when you’re finished, we don’t wanna make it look too easy to be this amazing!

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3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 3 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon butter, melted

Directions

  1. Combine 2 cups flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Stir in the water, shortening, parsley, rosemary, and basil. Use an electric mixer to beat on low speed for 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Turn mixer to medium, and beat for an additional 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in remaining 1 cup flour; mix until smooth.  Scrape batter from sides of bowl. Cover, and let rise in warm place for 35 to 40 minutes.
  2. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan. Stir down batter by beating about 25 strokes. Scrape batter into greased pan; pat down with floured hands. Cover pan. Let dough rise in warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Do not allow dough to over-rise.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  4. Bake in preheated oven until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, 40 to 45 minutes. Brush top with butter.

Homemade Biscottis

       There are few things that make me feel more sophiscated and fabulous than dipping a biscotti in my favorite cup of coffee. Could it be because I know biscottis are completely Italian? The fact that they make me feel like I’m Sophia Loren? Or maybe it’s just because they are fantastically delicious?!! Whatever the reason one thing is certain ….I NEED biscottis in my life!! Buying them everyday at my favorite coffee shop just isn’t CENTSIBLE! So this girl began a search on behalf of broke biscotti lovers everywhere… what i found will have your kitchen smelling like a little “panifico” ( that’s italian for bakery…fun right?), your lips deliciously smiling, and your tummy exquisitely full! So, have your girlfriends over for coffee and watch them stare at you in amazement as they think to themselves “Wow, Ive never noticed how sophisticated and fabulous she is…come to think of it , she looks a lot like Sophia Loren”… then let them eat their biscotti and their hearts out!!! Have fun girls!

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, plus 1 egg white
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1quarter tsp salt
  • 1 zest of orange
  • 1/2 cup whole blanched almonds, toasted
  • 3/4 cup dried berries  (I used cherries, cranberries and blackberries)
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the vanilla.

Gently mix in the flour, baking powder, salt, and orange zest. Once the dry ingredients are incorporated, fold in the almonds and dried berries..

Divide the dough in half and roll the dough into 2 logs. If the dough is sticky, dust with a little flour. Roll the logs to the length of a sheet pan. Beat the egg white with a splash of water. Brush the logs with the egg white and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Transfer to a sheet pan and place at least 3 inches apart. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven let cool for 10 minutes. Remove logs to a cutting board and slice on the bias about 3/4 inch thick. Lay the biscotti back on the sheet pan and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. This will harden the biscotti. Cool completely on a rack.

If you want to make them even more amazing dip them in chocolate!!

Everything is better in chocolate!!! “Mangi” girls!!!Image