Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sourdough Italian Bread and Honey Butter (Treats For Co-Irkers)

I've been wanting to bake bread for hubby's co-irkers for a long time now, but until recently I didn't think I was proficient enough at bread baking to share my meager little loaves of love. Know what? I've gotten good... DARN good at baking bread, if I do say so myself (which I guess I just did, didn't I?)

As I've been baking my way through Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice, I've discovered many new bread recipes that bear repeating, but I think the most worthy of repetition is his Italian bread recipe. I've made it enough times now that I've already started to play around with the recipe, which any bread baker will tell you takes guts.

Have no fear however. I altered the original recipe only after finding this sourdough version at The Fresh Loaf, so I still really haven't gotten all that gutsy after all, have I? You'll find the recipe and instructions there so I won't reprint them here, but you can trust me that this is one fantastic bread.

Along with the bread I made some honey butter, just to sweeten the deal for the co-irkers. I made a big bowl for the gang in the break room, a little bowl for the crew in the front office, and a little bowl for little me.

Honey Butter (from Alton Brown)

1 pound butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla

The butter doesn't have to be at room temperature, but I let mine sit out for about an hour before I started working with it.

Cut butter into chunks and place into mixing bowl. Using whisk attachment, work the butter to loosen it up a bit and then add the honey, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat at medium speed for 5-7 minutes.

Form into logs or just place into a dish as I did. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

23 comments:

Frieda said...

This is a FABULOUS bread...you've outdone yourself with this sourdough version! Can't wait to make it and try it myself~

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Love your bread! I was just thinking about making some honey butter this afternoon... MIght have to make some this weekend :)

HoneyB said...

I want some!! I'm headed west!

Julie said...

I wish I could have reached through the computer for a piece of this. Looks just mouthwatering. Then add the honey butter. I think I am in heaven.

Trying to decide what bread baking book to purchase. I think you've sold me on buying this one.

Abby said...

That bread looks gorgeous! I've been wanting a sourdough recipe to try now that I have a (hopefully) working starter . . . maybe I should try this one! And I *love* honey butter! Mmmmmm

Barbara Bakes said...

Your bread really is a treat! Gorgeous!

Megan said...

Your bread looks great. I'm going to have make me some honey butter soon. Sounds sweet! :)

Federica said...

mi sembra di sentirne il profumo!!! mmmm.... complimenti!

Co Irker said...

Everyone, all together now:
"I LOVE BREAD!"
"I LOVE BREAD!"

And we love you! We have been waiting and waiting and waiting for you to make us bread. It was soooo worth the wait. You're correct in the estimation of your bread making prowess.

I may have had one or two or - to be honest - three pieces. It was amazing and the butter - I just have no words. True synergy.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, our befuddling, beguiling, bewitching bread making bombshell.

TGIF

George Gaston said...

I commented yesterday at another blog that bread is my Achilles heel. And now you add a delicious honey butter. Oh how I wish I worked in your office.

Terrific recipe, thanks...

June said...

Wow - can you EVER make bread Mags and that butter. Oh yumm, my mouth's watering at the thought.

Kat said...

Lovely looking bread! And to top it off with the honey butter! I know your co-irkers are happy campers.

stephchows said...

I would be one fat lady if I worked with your husband... fat and happy :D

Karen said...

Those are some beautiful loaves of bread! Lucky co-irkers!

All Our Fingers in the Pie said...

What beautiful bread! Wow.

Moogie said...

Mags, is mine in the mail?

Blackberry Jam Cafe said...

This looks amazing, the co-irkers gotta love you! Also love your blog - I was beginning to think everyone out here was 20 ish!
Susan

tasteofbeirut said...

One of the first thing I look for is a good crust and yours is tops! Congratulations! If you lived in my neck of the woods I'd be hounding you to make me some!

Snooty Primadona said...

I certainly hope that your co-irkers appreciate you! As a matter of fact, I'd love working with someone who makes the kinds of things you do. Geeze! You are amazing!

Velva said...

Your bread does look darn good! You inspire me. I wish my bread looked good. I am still trying to get the courage to try my hand at bread baking.

Pam said...

Two things. One - oh yeah. You've gotten good at it. Two - I want to be one of your hubby's co-irkers. Very badly.

Nanan said...

Oh my, what beautiful bread you bake, Mags!!!!! I can almost smell it here in Louisiana!! And you have outdone yourself to whip up some special butter to go with it!!! You are really trying to spoil some people, aren't ya? I wanna be one of your Co-Irkers - like last year already!

Nina said...

This is such a fabulous bread.I am bookmarking this.You have a fantastic blog out here.Adding your blog to my blogroll,not going to miss out ur posts:)