Sunday Supper Series

Last week’s post about beef stew for dinner got me thinking that there should be a weekly post about the delicious Sunday dinners that we have here. These more involved Sunday dinners deserve their own moniker, hence the Sunday Supper Series. The series will include dinners that are healthful, homemade, and easy.

Tonight’s dinner was courtesy of a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen: Healthy Family Cookbook. Since buying this book for Christmas, it has been well-loved. In fact, there is at least one other meal this week from that book (stay tuned for tofu!). Usually the weekly menu is based from one cookbook due to my own laziness of searching through many.

Chicken parmesan with homemade pasta and ciabatta was served tonight. Doug slaved away, sweating and swearing as he made the pasta. And rarely asking for help this time while making the ciabatta (the dough likes to “walk” across the counter). This meal was a little on the heavy side, but that’s what Sunday dinners are– a little more work, a little more food, and a lot of good eats.

The chicken parm was just like any ordinary chicken parmesan, but instead of the usual dried bread crumbs, panko was used. Panko is a bread crumb, but has a courser texture– adding a great crunch. The pasta sauce used for the pizza was resurrected, and Doug whipped up his best batch of pasta yet.

This is probably one of the more difficult breads to bake. Try some other breads first, like a peasant bread. This ciabatta moves across the counter after rising which can drive a new bread baker to the grave. After several times baking this bread, mastery is due. The results– warm, chewy bread.

Makes 3 loaves

1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water (100 degrees to 110 degrees)
5 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 cups Sponge, pulled into small pieces
3 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons bread flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons nonfat powdered milk
1 tablespoon salt
Canola oil, for bowl

In an electric mixer, combine 1 cup water and yeast. Let stand until yeast is creamy, about 10 minutes. Add remaining water and sponge, and mix, using paddle attachment, on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, powdered milk, and salt; add to yeast mixture, and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Change to dough hook, and mix on medium-low speed until dough is smooth and sticks to fingers slightly when squeezed, about 8 minutes. Or knead by hand, 15 to 20 minutes.

Transfer dough to a floured surface, and knead four or five turns into a ball. Place dough, smooth side up, in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until dough has doubled in bulk and is slightly blistered and satiny, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down, and fold over onto itself four or five times. Turn folded side face down in the bowl. Cover, and let rise again in a warm place until doubled in bulk and satiny, about 50 minutes.
Turn dough onto a floured surface, flour the top, and cut into three pieces.

Line three baking sheets with parchment; flour generously. Transfer a piece of dough to each baking sheet. Gently pull each piece into a rough rectangle (about 7-by-11 inches). Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk and small air pockets appear, about 30 minutes.

Dimple the surface of the bread with your fingertips. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise again for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with flour, and dimple again; cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes more. Thirty minutes before the rising is completed, place a baking stone, if using, in the lower third of the oven and a baking pan on the lowest shelf. Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Slide loaves, along with parchment, onto baking stone. If not using a stone, cook on the parchment-lined baking sheets. Quickly pour 2 cups very hot water into the baking pan to create steam, and close the oven door. Bake until bread is golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped on the bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

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One Response to Sunday Supper Series

  1. your dear old dad says:

    you can make that for me!

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