Sunday, June 27, 2010

You know you are a gringo when

You know you are the gringo still pitching for inclusion and kudos when you agree to make fresh garlic bread for the World Cup game viewing party. Bread – so what – that’s the easy part. It’s having it fresh out of the oven by 10:00 a.m. so you can bring it with you to the 11:00 game party that is the trick.

Our friends Lilian and Marco Arrelio were hosting. Claudio was making the lasagna. My now famous pull-apart garlic bread was in demand. “Jim, can you make it for the party?” they asked innocently enough. “Sure,” I said – not putting it together that I would have to get up at 6:00 a.m. to start the process.

Oh well, it would give me a chance to try out my slight modification of sprinkling grated parmesan cheese on top before baking (and adding a little vital wheat gluten to the pastry-style flour).

I’ve taken to baking bread lately. It is hell on my ever-expanding waistline, but it fits in well with the bumper crop of free time I have on my hands being a part-time English teacher. (And who wouldn’t want to come back for a second language lesson after checking me out the first class and being served fresh bread? – Realtors, you know what I’m talking about.)

So here’s how it played out. I use a recipe from an old Kitchen Aid mixer recipe book, although I use fresh minced garlic and salt rather than the stated garlic salt.
[mix/knead the wet and dry ingredients for about 7 minutes, place in a greased bowl and let double in size.]

[Roll out to about 12" x 8" and slice into four pieces.]

[Brush a garlic butter mixture on top of each slice and place slices atop each other.]

[Now slice this stack of slices into 3" pieces and place them vertically in a baking pan.]

[Brush everything with the butter garlic mixture and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.]

[Let rise for about an hour to again double in size.  Bake for 35 minutes.]

[This concoction pulls apart at every seam.  People love the finger food aspect of it.]

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