Post padding my eye... How about some waistline padding?
My latest favorite is simple french bread, but the same recipe can be used to make Torta's, pizza crusts, and so on -
The amount of dough for one french loaf is enough for two pizza crusts, or two or three Torta's.
Put simply, use 1 part water to 3 parts flour, add any spices you like, add yeast.
(Try adding, Mmm... Dill spice, cumin, garlic, fennel, chili powder, oregano, shredded cheeses, whatever pleases your taste) (NOT ALL AT ONCE!
) Even Mustard or Horse Radish may be useful, for particular meats later - baked right into the bread! I like Jalapeno bread, personally. For each loaf, figure three cups of flour on the average
. Six for two, nine for three, and so on... I make four at once, since one big mess is better than a lot of little messes.
Mix all the dry materials first - it makes it more even.
Use a wooden spoon and a VERY large bowl (flour grows wings, and flies all over the kitchen if it is not watched). The dough is well mixed when it no longer sticks to your hands as you knuckle it into the bottom of the bowl. Sprinkle the top with extra flour and work it in if it is still sticky.
The rule of thumb on mixing bowl size is - reach for one that is three times the size you think you need. Then get down the next bigger one...
Dry flour on your hands will help keep the dough from sticking to you in the beginning - just scoop it from the sides of the bowl.
A large serving plate or pot lid can cover the bowl as it rises. Let it rise until it is double in size, punch it down and shape it into loaves or rolls, and then do this:
For classic french bread, they say to use a mixture of one egg white and an equal amount of water to brush onto the outsides so it will glaze and form a nice crust. I found something better! Use mayonaise instead...
The reason is that it is made of egg whites, and oil (and vinegar). The oil prevents the crust from drying out - so that you end with a very thin crust and a super moist bread inside it! It is also unnessary to mix the eggs and dispose of the yolk some way, so it saves a mess.
This glaze should be put on before the "second rising" of the dough, don't worry - it won't dry out. That's the third reason for using mayo.
Once the loaves have been formed (on a baking sheet!)and glazed, and have risen to double again their size, the oven can busy itself by pre-heating to 375 degrees f (or whatever that is in C...). Setting the baking sheet on top of the oven will warm the loaves and help them rise.
Give it ten or fifteen minutes to ensure it is well heated, or wait ten minutes or so before lighting the oven - so that the loaves can rise some more if they have to. In Australia this may not be a problem...
They should go in for precisely twenty minutes, if all is as I have set forth here. In that amount of time, the crust should form as a golden colour (You see? Even some Americans know how to spell 'colour' properly...), brown in some parts, and this will be one of the softest, thin crusted breads you have had in a good long while.
It may well be that using veg oil all by itself (or even lard) will do, but the egg in the mayo helps form the crust up, so it isn't too soft. Or at least, that's my opinion.
PS: Nuts, raisins, banana slices, brown sugar and cinnamon, all these can be used as well to make breakfast breads.
PPS: You can use BEER instead of water...