Home made Breads and Pastas

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Fresh bread smells wonderful cooking no matter what season it is and home made pasta taste so much better than what you can buy in a store.
I don't have many receipes in this category but what I have I'll definately share. Give them a try because they really are not hard at all and the flavors and smells from these home made items will keep you making them again and again!

Bread bowls for soups
This is the most easy recipe for a bread bowl you can make! Make chili, stew, or your favorite soup and put in the bowl! Easy prepare bread bowl recipe below
Ingredients/Directions:
1 Frozen Bread Loaf (store bought/prepared - in your grocery freezer section)
Thaw for approxiimately 1 hour-or until able to use knife to cut into 3 equal parts
Cut thawed loaf into 3 equal parts - shape into round ball
Place as directed in greased pan, approx. size 9X11
Let rise as directed on package, approximately 2-4 hours
Bake for 20-25 minutes at 325 degrees
Take out of oven when baking complete and using a sharp knife, cut off the very top of the bread. Inside the round loaf you should take out a portion of the bread and press rest of loaf into the "bread bowl" so you have some room for your soup.
Butter up the portions that have been cut or taken out
Spoon in your prepared soup or chili and enjoy!

Pasta Recipe
Pasta maker Although you can cut the noodles by hand, there are a few inexpensive gadgets out there that can do the job more quickly for you. I have a very inexpensive pasta press. I use a hand crank to choose what type of noodle, and it also rolls out the dough so I don't need to use a rolling pin.
I also have a hand held cutter, which is smaller but similar to a pizza cutter. This is great for cutting the squares for ravioli, or cutting noodles.
If you don't have a pasta press, then you can get by with a rolling pin to roll out the dough, a knife to cut your shope.
You will also need something to dry the pasta on. I have a wooden pasta rack, I believe I purchased it for about $2.00. A wire rack can also be used, OR, you may just want to use them right away which can be done.

The only things I would like to point out are:
After you have made your own pasta you won't want to go back to store bought brands
It's so easy you will keep making your own pasta

Home Made Pasta
Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon olive oil

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, add the 2 cups of flour, mix in the salt, then make a well in the middle. Add the eggs, water and olive and mix well.
Use a little more flour and sprinkle a counter surface to knead the dough. You will knead the dough until it's smooth, about 10 minutes.
Cover and let it rest 10 minutes.
Dough is ready to be cut out.

Storing the dough or pasta
If you don't want to use the dough right away you can cover in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Unstuffed pasta can be froze for up to 8 months. Cut pasta, let it dry for at least an hour and wrap in freezer wrap.

oven mitt divider

Easy French Bread
Ingredients:

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon shortening, melted
4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup Cornmeal

Directions:
In a mixing bowl add 1/2 cup of the water and the yeast. Stir until yeast is dissolved.
Add sugar, salt, shortening and rest of water, stir until this is also dissolved.
Add the flour, a cup at a time, until it's all mixed. Do Not Knead!
Cover and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until the size has doubled.

Turn onto a floured surface, divide the dough in half and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Roll each half onto a rectangular baking sheet, pinch to seal and sprinkle the tops with cornmeal.

Cover and let rise again for approximatly 45 minutes. With a sharp knife make 4-5 diagonal cuts across the tops of each loaf. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.

The recipe may sound time consuming but actually the dough is rising for a good portion of this recipe. It's well worth it!



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