If you decide to make just one of my recipes, I highly recommend you make this bread. It requires only minimal ingredients and effort, but still tastes like a million bucks. You can make your own pizza dough if you have the time, but I made this recipe as part of my Mother’s Day Menu on a day when I was seriously pressed for time…and it came out perfectly. My hubby who was born and raised with Arabic bread (and normally isn’t tempted by baguettes, country breads, or fresh, yeasty loaves of any kind) said that this was the best bread he ever had. I kid you not, he actually said that. And I have to say, I think I agree.
(Yield: 1 loaf)
28 oz store-bought pizza dough (or homemade if you have the time)
4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
A light dusting of flour (for kneading)
1 egg beaten with 2 tsp water (for eggwash)
Butter (to grease the pan and for serving)
9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan
Let the dough sit at room temperature in the package you bought it in for 30 minutes to an hour (depending on the weather – the hotter it is, the less time the dough needs to sit out).
Preheat the oven to 375F and butter the loaf pan. Flour your hands and sprinkle a light dusting of flour on your kneading surface. Turn the dough out of its package and work it out with your fingers so it is about 10 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the cheese on top and knead about 10 times, or just until the cheese is incorporated.
Transfer the dough to the prepared loaf pan (seam side down), and lightly cover it with plastic wrap; let it rest for 15 minutes at room temperature. Lightly brush the top of the dough with eggwash (you will not use all the eggwash). Bake for about 40-50 minutes, until the crust is golden and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.
Let the bread cool on a wire rack before slicing.
That bread is a tough act to follow but this drink is pretty, refreshing, and delicious in its own right. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a beautiful meal. Or the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer afternoon.
(Yield: 2 servings)
1 liter sparkling water
A couple of splashes of peach nectar (I used Goya)
A handful of strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
Pour a splash of peach juice into the bottom of 2 glasses. Pour in enough sparkling water to fill the glass. Float the strawberry slices on top.