So much going on it is hard to stop and write about it. Firstly, I have been using Nick's gift from Christmas and been baking bread from the new Cooks Illustrated book he gave me.
The Italian bread was intriguing and my first few attempts are hit and miss. I must use the temp probe before pulling for the oven. Makes a huge difference. I had 3 really beautiful loaves but one was a bit under cooked and I had to discard it.
The recipe calls for beer since its a same day bread and not time to develop a yeasty flavor that a long rise provides. A cup of Budweiser does the trick to 3 cups of Bread Flour, 2 Teaspoons of salt and yeast and a few tablespoons of water for a little more moisture. A rise till double after kneading then shape to a large loaf. Cut down the middle before spraying with water and placing in a hot oven 400 degrees. Had a nice crumb and light crispy crust. But like I said, takes its temp. It will fool you.
Next on the agenda is a party for Mackenzie's guests at the house. Short rib ragu was ordered so I made my own papparadelle pasta. About a dozen eggs later I had about 5 pounds of finished pasta for the freezer.