Monday, November 26, 2012

Ooey Gooey Yumminess

Bread & Cheese. Does It Get Better?

Friday night I put my apron on. Don't ask me what possessed me to bake homemade bread. On second thought, go ahead and ask. It's pretty simple really, a melted mozzarella and mushroom recipe I found on pinterest, that's what.  I mean, sure, I could have bought some bread, but I'd been wanting to give Jamie Oliver's bread recipe another try. I figure, I'm not going to get any better at this baking thing without practicing, right? Please note, I baked bread, not cake. That my dears, will take loads more practice to go beyond the boundaries of my one successful cake recipe.  Back to the bread. I've baked Jamie's recipe a few times now. The first time, I forgot to split it into loaves and it baked the biggest loaf of bread you have ever seen.  Seriously. It was a big as a Thanksgiving Turkey. It still tasted divine.

Jamie's recipe is straightforward. In fact the whole cookbook, 'Happy Days with the Naked Chef' is.

Here's the basic recipe for the bread:

just over 2lb (6-8cups) of white bread flour
just over 2 cups tepid water
1 oz fresh yeast OR three 1/4oz packets active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 lever tsp salt
extra flour for dusting

Step One: Make a well.
Pile flour on clean surface and make a large well in center. Pour half of your water into the well, then add your yeast, sugar, salt and stir (the stuff in the well) with a fork.

Step Two: Getting it together.
"Slowly, but confidently, bring in the flour from the inside of the well (don't break the walls of the well or water will go everywhere).  Continue to bring to center until you have a stodgy, porridgy consistency. Then add remaining water. Continue to mix until it's thick again and then you can get more 'aggressive' bringing in flour, and making less sticky. Flour your hands and pat and push the dough together with remaining flour.

Stage Three: Kneading

As Jamie says, "this is where you get 'stuck in'." Use elbow grease and knead the ball- pushing, folding, slapping and rolling for about 4-5 minutes until you have a silky elastic dough.

Stage 4: First Rise
Flour top of dough and put in bowl (I lightly dusted my bowl with flour), cover with plastic wrap (I used a tea towel) and allow to rise for half an hour- preferably in a warm, draft free spot.

Stage 5: Second Rise
Once dough has doubled in size, knock the air out of it by 'bashing and squashing' it. Now you can shape it or flavor it (if adding herbs, etc....there are several recipes Jamie uses the basic bread mix for....focaccia, french loaves, calzones, etc.). I shaped mine into two long french loaves, and two round loaves.  Then place in warm spot again and let rise - 30 minutes to an hour, until they double in size again. This will give it the air the bread needs so it's light and soft. Note from Jamie: don't fiddle with it, just let it do it's thing.

When done rising, place on floured cookie sheet and bake in preheated 350f degree oven for 30 minutes.

Ah yes, the smell of baking bread. Heavenly.


At this point, every good baker knows you must try a piece to make sure it is done sufficiently. The aforementioned piece must be lathered with butter.  It's written in the law. What? Are you questioning me?

Yup. It's good. We can move onto the next part of this recipe.

What you will need for this recipe from donna hay (and tweaked by me) is the following:

Olive oil
rosemary sprigs & sage sprigs
sliced bread (good thing I just baked some)- 8+ slices of baguette
mozzarella (buffalo if you can get- not always so easy for me to find, so we had used regular mozz)
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbs butter
8 oz of mushrooms (original recipe called for Pine mushrooms, which I've never heard of let alone see) I went with Baby Bellas because that's what my store had, though I think a mix of bellas and some earth porcini would be divine
see salt, cracked pepper
dash of wine
*oven safe saute/fry pan

In sauteed pan heat olive oil, add pats of butter.  Lay sliced bread in pan in one layer and toast, flipping to brown both sides.  Set bread aside on some paper towel to remove some of the oil. 

Once bread is removed, add to pan, sprigs of rosemary and sage. Let it do it's thing for a minute.

Then add the sliced mushrooms.

Let mushrooms saute for a couple of minutes.

Top mixture with slices of mozzarella.

Cook on stove top for a minute or two until cheese begins to melt.  I also added a dash of white wine at this point just for a little pizazz.  Then pop under broiler for a couple of minutes until it starts to bubble and brown.

Oh yeah. You know what's coming. Take out of oven, and serve with slices bread.  Lordy, lordy, lordy. That's all I have to say.

OK, maybe not. I have something else to say. Mmmmm,mmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmmm.

And one more thing.


Take a piece of bread, drag some melty mozzarella and mushrooms on top and dive in.

It's a keeper. It's easy and delicious. Of course, you can forgo the home baked bread, get some at the store and it will be all-the-sooner that you'll be enjoying some of the ooey gooey yumminess.

Four thumbs up, because that's all we've got. What can I say, three of my very favorite things, cheese....mushrooms......home baked bread.....Heavenly. 


So, did you do any shopping this weekend? I can't say I'm a huge shopper to begin with, at least not in the traditional sense of the phrase. You will never find me out on Black Friday beating my way through crowds to get the best deal on an iPad. Just not going to happen. Ever. That said, I know many people are all over Black Friday, Small Business Saturday (Yay!!!) and Cyber Monday, so we've had a sale going on all weekend. It's still running so stop by Bates Mercantile Co. while you can save. Enter thankyou20 coupon code at checkout and receive 20% off any print, photograph, calendar or stationery through the end of today. 

Wall Art Typography PRINT, Inspirational Wall Art PRINT, Grow Love Tree PRINT in Fuschia and Blue- Valentine's Day Gift

If you're a shop owner and you're also running a sale, stop by our facebook page, join the other shops linking up and spread the word. Share your sale and a link to your shop in Cyber Monday Meet Up!

Just had my order of inks deliver, which means I can run some prints that need to go out. Check that off the list.

Ciao for now,


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Torture! My doctor just told me to try to cut back on cheese! Arrggg!

    1. Sorry L, didn't mean to taunt you!!!

      you could do with low fat mozz, might not melt quite as well, but would probably still be pretty darn good.

  3. that looks sooo good (minus the mushrooms, lol). in fact, I saw your bread and had to get up and make some myself. I love my bread machine. :0)

    1. oh no, so it ain't so! mushrooms are my FAVE!!! but, i will say this, it would be good if you replace with onions. we used to have bread machines. we killed two. hence the current lessons in handmade.

  4. I'm so excited about the bread recipe! I found (on Pinterest, of course) directions for baking a loaf of bread in a crock pot, but the pin neglected to provide a recipe for the bread. They take for granted that everyone has a good bread recipe in their back pocket. Thanks for sharing!

    1. oh it's good. now, as i said, jamie is nice to include several different ways to use and bake this basic recipe. if you did it in a crock pot, you've got tell us your results!

  5. You amaze me - would have got you down as a baker, cake maker etc. par excellence! I've been making bread for my family since my mother-in-law instructed me in the dark art 43 years ago! "My boys are used to home made bread" said she - and like all good daughters-in-law, I obeyed! Actually, it saves a mint, I do it while I'm doing everything else, and still do it even though I'm now only cooking for myself. I make it up, once it's cooled down I cut it in half, freeze one half and eat the rest - just have to remember to take the other half out of the freezer in time to eat it when the first half is eaten! Works a treat - and would taste well with the rest of your recipe too!

    1. ah, you sound like you learned from a woman like my husband's mom (who sadly I missed meeting). not measuring cups, all by hand and in her head and gut. his gram too. I can cook up a storm, but for some reason baking has too many 'rules'. must be the rebel in me. i have a few standbys - cookies, the one italian apple butter cake, blueberry muffins, but i haven't even tried a box cake in years, because the last one came out pitiful.

  6. That bread and cheesy mushroom thingy looks divine. Give me a bottle of wine and that for dinner and life would be perfect!

    1. oh it was divine. that's it. that's all you need. bread, cheese, wine. call me, i'll be right over.

  7. Your recipe looks positively delicious. I ove bread, and I love cheese! Need I say more!?

    1. exACTly.

      not to me you don't. preaching to the choir.

      really, the bread recipe is pretty easy, and the mozz and shrooms VERY easy and quick. I said to G, you could even make it and bring it somewhere. get it all set, top with the mozz, then bring it and bake it off. people would dive in.

  8. Looks so delicious!

    I must try the recipe!

    1. Hi Andreia, so glad you stopped by. it was very good. knew as soon as I saw it on pinterest that it was a must try. so glad i did.

      just browsed around your blog and shop. i would get SO lost in books as a child. I used to camp out under my parents' big desk with a giant flashlight and read nancy drew cover to cover. i'm always giving books to the kids in our life.

      LOVELY shop!

  9. Yum... Seriously! If I run out of cheese at my house we call a state of emergency, put our entire lives on hold, and run to the grocery store. Seriously.


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