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Fresh bread is the ultimate appetizer. For years, restaurants have had us “filling up” on bread all across the country. Maybe it’s the gluten-free craze or perhaps the result of an effort to try and cut costs. Regardless of the reason, those warm bread baskets seem to be disappearing.

Well, I cry foul! A warm buttered roll is one of life’s simple joys. So, if you can’t get your hot baked bread from a restaurant – impress your guests (and yourself) and learn to bake a loaf!

Handed down from my Nana years ago, I have an easy recipe to get you on your bread-loving way. You make the bread, and keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it!

Stuff it with thin slices of your favorite veggies and serve it with various dipping oils, and this bread honestly can be an appetizer. And not to worry, if you are gluten-free, use your favorite flour substitute, and then you can still enjoy it!

I stuffed this loaf with sauteed onions and garlic. But, feel free to add anything your heart (or belly) desires. Some ideas? Cheese, sliced olives, fresh herbs, or thinly sliced tomatoes. Just be sure you reduce the moisture of whatever you decide to stuff into the bread; otherwise, it will end up a little doughy in parts.

Ice Box, Bread Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup of warm water
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cup of scalded milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups of flour (feel free to substitute for a gluten-free recipe)
  • 1/4 cup of sauteed onions and 2 garlic cloves

Instructions

  1. Mix yeast with warm water.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, butter, salt, and milk.
  3. Cool to lukewarm.
  4. Blend in eggs and yeast.
  5. Gradually add flour until the dough is a ball.
  6. Either knead bread on a floured surface for 3 to 5 minutes (or in an electric mixer).
  7. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning the dough to grease all sides.
  8. Cover and let rise in a warm place until dough doubles (about one hour).
  9. Punch down the dough, cover and refrigerate for at least two hours, but not longer than two days.
  10. Saute onions and garlic.
  11. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  12. Shape the bread into a long loaf. Stretch it out so that you can fold in the onions and garlic.
  13. Fold the bread upon itself, glaze with egg yolk and top with coarse salt.
  14. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Don’t forget an essential part of your freshly baked bread experience. Get yourself some nice high-quality butter or olive oil with a little parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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