Day 4 of the challenge. So far, it’s been easy. We have a ton of stuff to eat including a tub of ice cream. Needless to say, Reinman and I had ice cream sundaes last night and it might have the been the best thing ever.
A friend of mine gave us a bunch of veggies from her garden, which was very nice of her especially since the only thing that’s been growing in my garden are herbs (and one red pepper, and a tiny watermelon).
When thinking about what to make with all these veggies the first thing that popped into my head was Ratatouille. It was something new to me, and since Ratatouille is my favorite Pixar movie it really was an easy decision.
Ratatouille was a bit of a pain to make, what with mandolining all those veggies, but the end result was so worth it. The veggies still had some of their crispness, and the Italian seasonings I used gave the dish almost a spaghetti taste. It was very good, and I will be making it again.
So, what to make with Ratatouille? French bread, of course! And this was probably the best bread I have ever made!!!!
Seriously best bread ever. I will be making this again. Probably tomorrow. The outside was crispy, and the middle was chewy. Perfect.
I should also mention that this French Bread was very easy to make. So, you really should give it a try.
Today on my list to make, to try, is homemade hamburger buns. Wish me luck! Last time I attempted them all I got were hard, round rocks. Blah.
Ratatouille and French Bread
Ratatouille recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen and French Bread recipe adapted from Food.com
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp onion powder (or 1/2 onion finely chopped)
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 2 T olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp italian seasoning, divided
- 1 small zucchini
- 1 small yellow squash
- 1 long red pepper
- 1 long yellow pepper
- 1 green pepper
- (I also was going to add an eggplant, but it had gone bad– so if you have that go ahead and add it)
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Put tomato puree into the bottom of an oval baking dish (I used a 2 & 1/2 qt dish). Drop in the minced garlic, onion, 1 T olive oil, 1/2 tsp italian seasoning, and season the sauce with salt and pepper.
- Trim the ends of the zucchini and squash. As carefully as you can, trim the ends off the peppers, and take out the core, making sure to leave the edges intact.
- Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, cut the zucchini, squash, and peppers into very thing thin slices, about 1/16-inch thick.
- On top of the tomato sauce, arrange the veggies from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a little bit of each surface is visible, alternating the vegetables.
- Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil on top, along with more salt and pepper, and sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top of all of that.
- Cover the dish with a piece of parchment paper that’s cut to fit the inside.
- Bake for about 45-55 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling up around the veggies, and you can see the veggies are done but not totally limp. I think I baked mine around 45 minutes.
- Enjoy immediately!
(makes enough for two loaves)
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 T yeast
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 T sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 5-5 1/2 cups bread flour
- Dissolve yeast in warm water and sugar in a large bowl. Allow yeast to proof or foam, about 10 minutes.
- Add oil, salt, and 3 cups of flour; beat for 2 minutes.
- Stir in 2 cups of flour to make a stiff dough.
- Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
- Place in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
- Punch down and divide in half.
- Shape dough into two long, slender loaves.
- Put parchment paper on a large baking sheet, and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place loaves on pan and cut three large gashes on top of each loaf.
- Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.
- Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. You can spray water on the loaves while baking to get a really crispy crust. (I did this twice.)
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