Monday, September 14, 2009

Ode to Bread (and Lawry's!)

I love to make bread of all kinds. It is so much heartier and more flavorful then store bought. It has texture and substance and it smells wonderful. Plus it is fun to make. I used to do all of my bread making completely by hand. Kneading large balls of dough for up to 10 minutes at a time is quite a workout! At some point, my husband used his entire bonus to buy me a top of the line Kitchen Aid stand mixer with a bread hook and large bowl with my name engraved on it! It became my new best friend.

Sometimes I make just loaves of plain, white bread, transformed by being hot, crusty and fresh. Whole wheat and grains of various kinds make a hearty bread that is practically a meal unto itself. Cinnamon-brown sugar raisin bread is more of a dessert than a staple. I make my own pizza crust, too. But I think maybe my favorite is garlic bread! First I make two long loaves of French bread. I mix and knead the dough in my amazing mixer, let it rise for an hour, then punch it down and form it in to loaves. After it rises some more, I pop it in the oven until it is golden.
Then for garlic bread, I would mix Lawry's Garlic Spread with a stick of margarine, heating them both until they melted. Cutting the slightly cooled bread down the middle, and then across the sides into pieces, I would carefully spoon the hot mixture on to the individual pieces and after it soaked down in to the bread, back in the oven it went to crisp up a bit. Unbelievably good with spaghetti and meatballs, this bread was a major hit in my house. It was good with salad the next day, too!
But then Lawry's stopped carrying the spread. Yikes! What to do, what to do. I tried just using the minced garlic mix they sell in jars, but that didn't have the right texture because of the bits of garlic in the oil. I started making Parmesan Garlic Breadsticks, and they were very good, but not as good as our former bread. Finally, a tad discouraged, I resorted to just having store-bought bread with butter while I gave it some thought. But this past week in the grocery, my husband decided to try to find something else that might do. And lo and behold, he discovered four jars of Lawry's Garlic Spread! Naturally we bought all four! We are hoping very much that Lawry's saw the error of their ways and decided to begin making the spread again, but one can't be too careful. But for now, I have my spread; so tonight is spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread! The sauce is homemade and simmers in the crockpot all day. The meatballs (yes, of course, from scratch!) are in the oven as we speak. The french bread is rising. Later I will boil the noodles (no, I did not make them myself, although some day I intend to try). A few veggies or a salad and we have a winner! Here, have a cyber bite!


nikkipolani said...

That's one thing I wish I could do - bake bread. Yours looks fantatic with a soft chewy center and crisp crust. That spaghetti sounds fabulous as well!

Sassy Granny ... said...

OK ... so now I'm STARVED! That cyber-bite just didn't cut it.

Here's a link to several online resources should you find yourself stuck again:'s-garlic-spread

Now I'm off to find me some garlic bread.


Connie said...

everything looks delish!!!

Protege said...

Ah, what a lovely post! I am a lousy cook, but I love to bake. A few years ago, I would bake bread quiet often as well. But I have somehow given up on that... Your post might just have been what I needed to get back into it again;))

As for garlic bread; here we have possibility to buy frozen "semi-baked" garlic bread. It need to go into the oven for 15 minutes and feel fresh baked. I love it.;))
In Denmark it is common to make your own garlic butter; you take regular butter and mix it with shredded garlic. This might be able to substitute your garlic spread. You bake the bread as you usually do, making sure you have cut several times all across the top with a knife, creating *channels*. Then you dab the cold butter over the bread just a few minutes before it is done. It will melt all over the bred and run into the *channels*, making it taste heavenly.

Enjoy your lovely dinner today!;)) xo

Merle said...

Dear Tracie ~~ Where do you get the time to bake bread? It looks very
yummy and the garlic bread too. I hope you can get Lawry's Garlic
Spread again soon. Or a similar one.
Glad you enjoyed the post and I do like the quote from Laura Ingles
Wilder. "My home can be as pleasant as I can make it." Lovely thought.
Take great care, Love, Merle.

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