Browsing in the Bakery

Last week, I stopped by a different grocery store on the other side of town. I barely shop there, only about twice a year when I need a more exotic or ethnic ingredient Safeway doesn’t carry.

 

As I wandered around, I found myself drawn to the bakery section. (Surprise, surprise!) I stared impatiently at the five-year-old boy shyly accepting a free cookie from the friendly lady behind the counter, willing him to walk away so I could press my nose against the glass display case and study the cheesecakes, fruit tarts, and chocolate éclairs taunting me from within.

 

Realizing I’d start drooling unless I turned away, I took a few steps to my right to look at the artisan loaves of bread. One caught my eye. It appeared that the baker tried his had at modern art by haphazardly gluing several mini baguettes together and sticking it on the shelf to sell.  

 

Back at home, I googled the name and immediately fell in love with its funky rustic shape. Two days later, I baked my own loaves, and my brother (up to visit for the afternoon) ate half of one!

 

 

Epi Bread Loaves

makes two 1-lb loaves

Cutting the “leaves” may take a few snips to get used to, but don’t get discouraged if they don’t look quite right! With my scissor skills, I shouldn’t have graduated from kindergarten, but the loaves still looked fine after baking in the oven. The bread is best served the day it’s made.

1 recipe of starter dough

extra flour

2 c. hot water

  1. Lightly flour a large sheet of parchment paper. Flour your hands and the dough, and quickly shape it into a round ball. Flatten the ball into an oval, and fold one-third of the longer side into the center. Repeat with the other side, and pinch the sides together. (This will help make a more even baguette.)
  2. Pull the dough in opposing directions to make a log, about 12” long. Let the dough rest for 20-30 min.
  3. Place a cookie sheet or baking stone in the oven on the middle rack, and put a 13×9” cake pan on the lower rack. Preheat the oven to 450° with the pans inside.
  4. Using scissors, cut at a 30-45° angle into the bread about 2” from the end, stopping about ¼” from the bottom. (Don’t cut the dough in half!) Lay the “leaf” off to the right. Continue cutting leaves, alternating between laying them to the left and right of the stalk.

     

  5.  

  6. Pull the preheated pan out of the oven, and place the bread dough and parchment paper on top. Put the pan back in the oven, pour the hot water into the baking dish, and immediately close the oven. Bake the bread for 25-30 min or until golden brown. Cool on the pan for 5 min before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. (If you cut into the loaf while it’s still warm, the insides may still be gooey and not quite set.)

 

 

June 10, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Satisfying Sides.

7 Comments

  1. Cyndi replied:

    Excellent taste, and although the bread should last several days in the refrigerator, it was so good that a few hours is all ours had. Thanks for a great treat – good by itself or with a little taste of cheese.

    • foods for the soul replied:

      You’re welcome! Actually, it may harden a bit faster if kept in the fridge, so I’m glad that you ate it all before that could happen!

  2. Brittany replied:

    I love this concept, mainly because I can eat just “one” and really it’s like 5 mini ones. MORE for me!! These look great!

    • foods for the soul replied:

      Thanks! And I definitely agree. The last time I made this bread, I ate two-thirds of it myself! I only intended to have three little “rolls,” but there was one more left, and everyone knows that bread isn’t as good the next day when it’s staled a bit… Oops? :]

  3. Andrea replied:

    Gorgeous!

    • foods for the soul replied:

      Thank you! It really couldn’t be easier to make–just a couple of snips with scissors. And of course, I love it when I can bend Mom’s rule and play with my food!

  4. Best Meals of 2012 « Foods for the Soul replied:

    […] #2: epi bread loaves […]

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