I'm in northern California for a week to teach a class. The instructors are all going to a coworkers house for dinner. Each person is supposed to bring something. MREs? I have a truck full of those. No, that won't work. I was assigned bread. Flour, water, yeast, salt. This is an easy one. At least it would be easy if I was home. But I'm not.
When I found out I was to bring bread the thought crossed my mind that I'd actually have to buy bread. I don't like store bought bread. Why would I ruin a good dinner with store bought bread? I don't have any idea where a good bakery is in this town. Why would I want to spend a bunch of money on a loaf of bread that may or may not be what I want?
What are the other people bringing? The host is providing the meat that he's bbq'ing. He usually offers a nice bottle of wine to go along with it. One of our coworkers who works in this part of the state is making a salad of home grown tomatoes and onions topped with basil and balsamic vinegar. One of the instructors offered to bring dessert.
I didn't have to think too hard about what I'm going to do for the bread. I decided to go to the local Walmart and pick up the ingredients. Flour, yeast, Italian seasoning - I've got a bunch of food in my truck but flour, yeast, seasoning? No. I have a bowl in my truck. Tomorrow during lunch I will take some of the flour, add a pack of yeast, salt (which I had in my truck), seasoning and water. With clean hands I can mix the dough by hand. I think it will surprise a bunch of people. What do you think? Then I'll cover it with a towel and stick it into my truck. It will rise wonderfully by the time the day is over and we head out for dinner.
Making the bread with Italian seasoning will go well with the tomato salad. I'm hoping the host has some muffin tins. If so, then I'll take the dough and tear it into little balls, putting three or four balls per muffin cup. I'll rub a little olive oil on top and pop it into a hot over. They will puff up quickly and look and taste spectacular. If not, I'll grease my bowl, roll the dough in the oil, and throw that into the oven. It won't look as good but will still taste great. Or I could take individual pieces of dough, flatten them out and throw them onto the bbq.
The more I kneed the dough the softer it will be. I don't think I'll kneed too much, a little heavier will probably work for this meal. It will be easy to make, will teach them all that it's really easy to bake bread, and will probably taste better than any loaf of bread I could buy. I'm looking forward to finishing up class tomorrow and getting to that dinner!