Thursday, November 1, 2012

Cooking Crusty Bread and Cheesy Chicken Chili

I have always liked the idea of making my own bread, but I am barely a cook and bread seemed like it was beyond my skill set. Then I found a recipe on Pinterest based on Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and I thought I would give it a try.

The blog post connected to the recipe that I found first really made it sound easy. She gave the recipe ( 3 cups flour, 1 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp yeast, and 1 1/2 cups water) and some suggestions about how and when to mix it, what kind of pot to use, even several flavor variations to try. Mostly, she made it sound fool proof!
Here is a slight variation on the recipe I have been using. This one points out that it is so easy the author's four year old son can do it!

I only needed to buy a pan that had a lid and could go to 400 degrees (I found a Paula Dean ceramic casserole at Walmart for around $25). I have now made 3 loves if bread and I am totally addicted! I have let it sit for as little as 10 hours and as long as 20. I have followed the directions precisely, but I have also experimented with wheat flour, almond flour, cheese, and herbs. The flour always stays at the same amount and I have mixed the new varieties with half white flour. The herbs and cheese I haven't measured and it hasn't caused any problems. I keep thinking up new combinations that I want to try. Next I think I will experiment with different flavors in the liquid, like using part orange juice with the water.

The first time I made the bread, it was SO good and warm that I was inspired to mix up some leftovers and canned vegetables into a chicken chili to eat with the bread. Everything tasted AMAZING and both were SO easy! Here's the basic idea of the soup that I made. Mostly, I felt like after making bread so easy, I could tackle anything. I hope you feel the same. Seriously, check out the full details of the recipe. In 12 hours you could be eating artisan bread!

Cheesy Chicken Chili
1-2 cooked cubed chicken breasts
1 can corn
1 can black beans
1 can cream of chicken soup
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2-4 Tbs Chopped fresh Cilantro
2-4 Tbs chili powder
2-4 Tbs chopped red onion
About a fourth cup salsa,
a splash of lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste
Enough Water to make it the consistency you want.
Dump everything in a crock pot or sauce pan and cook until the cheese melts and the flavors mix.

No comments: