Dear Santa,

Thank you so much for such a wonderful Christmas. Thanks (to all our family and friends) for such wonderful gifts. We received games, toys, gift cards, clothes, books and countless cards and pictures of all of those dearest in our lives. We hope that everyone's holiday was as great and blessed as ours.

Raye (too busy opening gifts to look at the camera):

Chris (poor thing didn't know what to do):

Clif received a new bike from Santa *cough*:

...and mommy got a couple of *ahem* nice gifts from Santa also:

Little Santa also put (inside the purse) a wristlet for mommy to have. Yay for Christmas!

It wouldn't be Christmas without...

Eggnog and Rum cake.
So, I absolutely love eggnog. I know that some people have this weird aversion to warmed eggs in a drinkable sauce, but not me. Since a wee-widdle-lad my mom would always have her favorite brand of eggnog during the holidays. Of course, she would spike hers to make it even more special for her. What I remember is that it was thick and creamy, like drinking ice cream after it has melted in your bowl. Well, I don't know what it is, but I've always wanted to make a batch from scratch, and this holiday was my time to do so. After receiving THIS book from my friend, I found a recipe that I couldn't wait to try. It was actually a recipe for a 'Chocolate Cookie Crusted Eggnog Cheesecake.' I'll get to that recipe later, but I found a homemade recipe for eggnog within it.

Sorry, no "making-the-recipe-in-progress" photos this time, only a dark shot of the finished product. I've converted 2 non-eggnog drinkers into full-on egg-a-holics.

3 1/2 c heavy cream
6 large eggs
1 1/2 c sugar
pinch of kosher salt
1/4 c Myer's dark rum
1/2 c whiskey (preferably Crown Royal) or bourbon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Heat 2 1/2 c of cream over medium-low heat. Whisk the eggs with the sugar and salt. Measure out 1 cup of the hot cream and gradually pout into egg mixture, whisk constantly. Slowly pour the egg-cream mixture back into saucepan with hot cream. Continue to cook until the mixture thickens (until it coats a back of a spoon ~ 5 minutes). Strain mixture through fine-meshed sieve into large bowl. Let mixture stand for 15 minutes (stirring occasionally). Stir in rum, whiskey, vanilla and nutmeg. (at this point you can refrigerate for up to 3 days).

Use an electric mixer with whisk attachment to beat last 1 c up cream until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into eggnog mixture. Serve immediately.
I call this next recipe: Rum-Da-Da-Dum Cake
This cake truly caught me off guard. Not only was this a very tasty cake... it was easy to make and had a wonderful flavor and aroma. The recipe is from HERE.

Chopped pecans (in the bottom of bundt pan)

Finished cake (cooling)

Rum glaze (cooking)

Finished (GLAZED) cake

Don't mind me...

... I'm just playing "catch up" with you all.

Let's see:
First there was the carrrot cake. Recipe here

I love the way the mixture looks

Here's the finished product, with a little chopped walnuts on the side

Ahh, gotta love cream cheese frosting...it's truly the best.


One small step for man...

... one GIANT step for Christian.

Chris took 4-6 steps on Wednesday (while hanging out with his favorite baby sitters).

Last night Chris took 3-5 steps while watching mommy and daddy play Mario & Sonic at the Olympics on WII.

Yeah... he's all growed up!


SFAMily Holiday Hoorah 2007

This past Sunday was the SFAMily Holiday Hoorah 2007 gathering at Wan's house. Thank you sweetie pie for opening up your home to us crazy gals. By far the best picture of the day was this one (and it's many variations)
Check out "K's" do!

The brunch was filled with great food, great conversation and even better presents. We exchanged 'normal' gifts as well as 'white elephant' gifts. Which I think is the only animal that was not given away as a poop dispenser

We even had our very own MIMOSA FAIRY

Check out the rest of the
SFAMily Holiday Hoorah 2007
(way too many to post here)

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Our family ornament this year!
This year I stayed home and anxiously awaiting what my family would select as this year's holiday tree. Approximately one hour after leaving the house, the troops returned with Helen (I named our tree). She's beautifully FLOCKED (I love that word) and sits perfectly in the designated corner in our livingroom.
Here's pictures of Clif as he brought it into the house.

It was his idea to get a flocked tree.

It was the princess' turn to place the angel on the tree.

Our angel watches over us.

I love the way ornaments shine off of a tree at night.

What a get picture.

Fabulous Caramel Cake!

I got an early Christmas present from my good friend Amie. Her mom, who knows that I love to cook gave her an extra set of cook books to give to me. The books are all about Southern cakes, and let me tell you there are some SERIOUS recipes in this book.

My first trial was at this caramel cake. I have now learned the importance of having (2) of the same sized baking pans so that the end result isn't a cake that has 1 size significantly bigger than the other (oh, and it would help if I didn't use only one pan also - truly lazy).

Overall the cake was good. Very, very, very sweet though, so be careful. It was like biting into a sugar cube - seriously.

Yellow Cake -
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 cup milk
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Carmael Icing -
1 lb (2 3/4 cups) light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
7 tbsp evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 325. Grease (2) 9" pans. Combine butter and sugar in saucepan, and cook over low heat until butter melts. Stir well and let cool to room temperature. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in bowl, stir with fork and mix well. Combine eggs and sugar, beat on high speed, until light yellow and thick. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture only until flour disappears. Add the cooled milk mixture and the vanilla, stir well.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until cake is golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes in pan, then cool completely on wire racks.

In heavy saucepan combine brown sugar, butter, evaporated milk and vanilla. Bring to a boil, stir well and adjust heat so the frosting boils and bubbles gently for 7 minutes. Let it cool for 5 minutes. Beat icing with wooden spoon until it thickens.

This was my first experience with an icing that begins to harden when you start spreading it on the cake. You MUST frost the cake while the icing is a little runny. Otherwise you'll pull the sides of the cake apart trying to 'smear' the icing along the top and sides.
If the icing becomes too hard re-warm it back up with a little bit of evaporated milk.

Lemon Drop Martini, please!

So, the first pics from my new "snazzy" camera are of the perfect lemon drop martini. Now, I could have worked on the lemon garnish, but TRUST ME, the drink itself was great without it.

1 1/2 shots of Absolut Vodka Citron
3 shots of Newman's Virgin lemonade
1 tsp of Baker's sugar
2 tsp of fresh lemon juice

Combine all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake and pour into martini glass. Garnish with lemon peel.... and enjoy.


Thanks JE for good eats

Me and the hub went to his department holiday party last night. His boss took the group out to 21 Oceanfront restaurant in Newport Beach. The restaurant was elegantly decorated and the general mood of everyone was good also. It's always nice to hear how your husband acts while away from home. Very interesting to know that he eats more cheeseburgers and fries than he lets on about. *shruggin shoulders*

The food was delicious (no pics because I didn't want Clif to have to hear about it today at work). We ordered the clam chowder (yum), the apple almond salad, swordfish (clif) and bone-in ribeye (me). For desert we had the Chocolate Fantasy and the Caramel Banana, both were good. I dont' really care for dark chocolate and the fantasy's cake was made using some. The caramel thingy was great because it combine homemade caramel (I am an expert) and alcohol - yay! The best part of dinner was after we sampled the desserts and my hubby told me that my dessert tastes better. *smile*

It was also nice to drive by the location of our wedding. We couldn't see our yacht (well, not our yacht, but you know) but we did see the harbor and the Christmas decoration they have floating in the waters. We really should go back at there more often, it's been over 1 1/2 years already.

YAY for me!

I'm 100 blogs in the books.
I guess this wouldn't count the 100+ posts I had on my other site. I think I'm off to a pretty good start.

Hey... leave me some words of encouragement (why don'tcha)

Best of, huh?

best of 2007

So... I've been invited to participate in this years.."Best Of"
How cool!

I'm not sure yet, what recipe of mine I'm going to submit... maybe I'll make something new, and blog about that. Either way, stay tuned.


Back in business

Although I haven't posted anything substantial this past week (or so) I've wanted to.
Who knew that picture taking was such a big part of bloggin'! *YOWZER*
I mean, everything I wanted to blog about, I wanted to take a picture of, and therefore I either a) didn't do what I wanted to eventually blog about, or b) didn't bother blogging about what I did because I had NO pics to share.

Oh well... that dilemna is now over with. I got my camera the other day (yes.. I've had it for a couple of days, but I've been reading the owner's manual :nerd:)

I'll be back to my old self real soon. Tonight we have a company dinner, so I don't know just how much I'll be able to write/snap/upload/blog about, but I sure will try.

*cross my heart*


If my grandfather could see me now!

So, as you all know... I can't take pictures of anything right now. My camera is DEAD and all of the stuff that I'm cooking has lost a little bit of it's purpose (damn cooking because you're hungry, right?). Today when I arrived home from running my many errands, I found 4 boxes on my door step. I figured it was boxes of stuff that my tenants must have ordered, to my surprise some of the the items that I ordered off of HSN came in...... Saaaah-weeeet! The cool part is they were having a "Wolfgang Puck" day on the show, they were offering up some cool prices FOR THAT DAY ONLY.

(if only the damn camera was one of those things)

Here's what came in (of course these pictures came from another source)
My Wolfgang Puck Bistro 700-watt stand mixer (can you say.. bring on the challenges?)
My Wolfgang Puck Bistro 900-Watt food processor (um, yeah.. I'll be chopping the hell out of something real soon!)

Hopefully, THIS will be coming in soon, and I'll be able to share some photos of me and all of my new toys.

Merry Ho-Ho!



My d-camera has been dead now for the past 3-4 days.
We can not find the battery charger and therefore I can't share any food photos with you, nor can I take pictures of the foods that I've been preparing. The whole experience just has me in a Bah-Humbug time of mood.

To cheer me up, I went shopping at HSN yesterday and picked up some new toys. Let's just say that between now and December 14th I'll have another UBER-COOL camera to start back taking photos with. Shoot, now I'm even going to be able to see the damn pictures before taking 20. :)

Stay tuned for more pictures.


Cupcake Hero results are in...

...and I did not win (*pout*)

Nah.. I had a good time coming up with a recipe for the frosting. I'll be back at it again soon. To take a look at who participate and who won the cool t-shirt, click here.


I participated in this month's "does my blog look good in this?" challenge.[smacking myself upside the head]

What was I thinking? I was truly proud of the sandwich that I made. When I saw the invitation, I said to myself "what the heck? I'll submit THIS picture. It wasn't too bad of a pic, I was kind of proud of myself, since I'm still learning how to take a picture. I mean, I know how to take a picture, but when you take a look at the other entries, I clearly DO NOT KNOW how to take a picture.

Oh well, there's always next month. I'll let you know if I get any kind of recognition, maybe from the 'Picture Least Likely to get an Award' category.

Take a look at the other entries here...


I've been tagged!

One of the most inspiring bakers that I know (and I'm studying, reading and watching this blog like a hawk) Julius has tagged me with a "meme?" Did I say that right? It's like a chain letter that we are suppose to answer and then pass along to someone who we think will answer/read. I noramlly don't like chain letter but this one is kind of cool, so I graciously accept. So, as I told Julius, here goes:

What were you cooking/baking ten years ago?

Baking? Ha! I think the only thing I might have been baking 10 years ago would have been boxed cakes. I've always loved eating uncooked cake mix (even so much that I've gotten in trouble numberous times from my mom) I've ruined so many of them by eating over 1/2 of the mixture.

What were you cooking/baking one year ago?

I was definitely baking 1 year ago. About 2 years ago I was introduce to Sprinkle cupcakes. Almost immediately afterwards I began trying to come up with my own creatios for cupcakes (it was so the "in" thing). Besides cupcakes, I've been steadily baking cookies and regular cakes.

The snack you enjoy the most:

SNICKERS! I can eat one of these bars on anyday and at any time.

A culinary luxury you would indulge in if you were a millionaire:

I would love to spend a month in Europe learning how to create authentic pastries.

What do you bake the most?

Cupcakes, cookies and cobblers (the 3C's).

One thing you cannot/will not eat:

(I'm sorry if I piss someone off) Liver. I can't stand the way it looks!

Favourite culinary toy:

(owned) Hand held torch
(wanted) KitchenAid 5 qt mixer (w/flame designs all over - like on FoodNetwork)

A must on your “last meal” menu:

Ribeye Steak or Brazilian-style steak.

Five recipes you know by heart:

Stuffed mushrooms w/italian sausage, etc.
Cream cheese pound cake
Jamacian Jerk chicken wings
Triple chocolate chip cookies w/pecans
Twiced baked potatoes
(so as you can see, it's NORAML recipes the consume my life *sigh*)

Happy food memories:

1. Me and my mom having an egg fight (hey... eggs are food)
2. While giving birth to my first child, my mom place a Snickers (see, there I go again) at the front of the room, to aid me with my focal point. It worked.
3. My husband making me a romantic dinner from scratch.
4. My mom use to get me Carver, numbered, ice-cream cakes for my birthday. I continuted the tradition with my first born (sorry later children)

Well, that's it. I'm going to pass this little assignment onto Nanner, WeMo, my girl "R", the big Potato and "Wan"-erific blogger. Take it away gang!

Did you ever know that you're my hero?

Yup, I did it. I entered into this month's CUPCAKE HERO contest, and I'm proud of myself. Not only did I enter into the contest, but I also 'kinda' created my own frosting. Well, I warmed up some cranberries; soaked them in rum (Don Q. to be exact), re-warmed them back up again until they started to juice out onto the pan.
Then I just combined the cranberries to a standard buttercream frosting mix, and WOALA!
I mixed the ingredients for a white cake, for the cupcakes...
Here is the final product. It was hard as 'H-E-double hockey sticks' to pipe through, which is the reason why the weird frosting technique. Maybe next time we use "cranberries" as the secret recipe... I'll leave the cranberries whole.

Anyway... it sure was good to eat; not too sweet and not too tart.

Can you bake pudding?

SHF #38 - The proof is in the Pudding!

I'm truly psyched to get to participate in the latest SHF.
I'm looking forward to enhancing my "pudding makin' skills" or creating some new ones.

Stay tuned for what is bound to be something VERY INTERESTING (mmuuuuuuuaaaaaa)
[rubbing my hands in a circular motion like an evil genius]


Slick Rick in da house

Are you talking to me?

Did you hear me? I saaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiid, are you talking to me?


Food 9-1-1

I had dinner all planned out. I saw this killer recipe for sirloin stir fry inside one of (many) Rachel Ray magazines at my house. It's in the insert that has the 7 recipes for 7 days (if you know the pages). Anyhoot, me, Ryann and the baby went to the best grocery store in the world (I've ranted about this place before) to pick up all the ingredients. Once we left the store if was off to pay some bills and then home to start dinner.

Once we arrived at home, and started unloading bags I looked for the recipe.
*GULP* I had left it inside the shopping cart. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, however I was making stir fry that included abnormal ingredients (i.e. sun-dried tomatoes). What was I going to do?

After dropping Ryann off at her dad's house (after soccer practice) I headed home to cook. I remembered that it was only suppose to take 15 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes to cook this meal (or was it vice versa). I simply apologized to Clifton, in advance, and made sure there was some cereal to eat (in the event this turned out to be a disaster) and then began to create.

I did get a chance to glance over the recipe. The only thing I remembered was that I was suppose to use 3 tbsp of soy sauce, 1-2 cherry hot peppers and 1 cup of beef broth. In stir fry? Sheesh.

Here's what I did (sorry Rachel if I butchered this recipe's directions badly):

3 tbsp soy sauce
1 bunch of broccoli (use stem and heads)
2 habenero peppers
3 tbsp sun dried tomatoes (packaged in oil and garlic)
4-5 stems of scallions (cut into 1 in pieces)
1 1/2 lbs of sirloin
4 cloves garlic (diced)
1 cup of beef broth
Angel hair pasta (enough to feed 3-4 people)

Brown sirloin in large skillet with 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce. Drain and wipe skillet clean w/ paper towel. (brown 4 minutes each side) Set meat aside.

Meantime cook angel hair pasta per directions on package. Drain and set aside.

Saute broccoli, scallions, garlic in 1 tbsp of soy sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes total. Drain and wipe skillet clean w/ paper towel. Set veggies aside.

Cook sun-dried tomatoes and peppers in the garlic oil of the tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain 1/2 of juices.

Heat up broth in skill and left over juices from tomato/pepper mixture. Add sirloin. Cook for 4 minutes or until meat is tender. Drain all juices.
Add all ingredients together in skillet and mix together. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

Plate pasta and top with stir fry.


I guess Clif enjoyed it...


Why didn't you tell me?

All this time I've been using that handy-dandy 'label' box at the bottom of all of my post to enter in "catchy" phrases to help me to remember what the hell I was blogging about. I just NOW figured out it is a way to help find a particular blog pertaining to a subject I write about mostly (i.e. food, family, etc.)


Now I have to go back and read through all of my past posts and correct.


I finished my first challenge (yay)

My first challenge was: TENDER POTATO BREAD

Well, the secret may be out already. My new group of friends; those crazy guys and gals that have won over my heart and my kitchen; a contributing factor to why I've been baking like a mad-woman lately is... ... THE DARING BAKERS.

I first started seeing the amazing creations that this group flooded Blogger with back in August. I innocently stumbled onto a page with the most amazing photographs of food. I think at that time the monthly challenge was cinnamon rolls and sticky buns. Oh.... I'm a sucker for sweet bread of any kind. Three months later I could hardly hold back my desire to want to be apart of this group.

As a November newbie I couludn't wait to participate in my first challenge. So much in fact that I think I finished up way back in the beginning of the month. Anyhoot, I'm truly excited at the level that my baking skills are about to increase too. Stay tuned for those amazing photographs of our monthly challenges. I'm off.

So, this was my second attempt at working with yeast (the first time being with those buns above). I don't think I can even begin to describe the stick-i-ness that this dough created. The closest thing I could compare it to is if you'd pop a whole pack of Big League Chew into your mouth; spit it out onto the counter and attempt to form some kind of pastry out of it.

4 hours later and sans 1 cup of the recommended 6 1/2 - 8 1/2 cups of flour. The recipe is below, given to us by our lovely Tanna. Thanks again for challenging my SKILLS! :)

Here are my rolls:

...and here is my loaf:

Tender Potato Bread
(from Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour & Tradition Around the World by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid; who also wrote Hot Sour Salty Sweet)
Daring Bakers Challenge #13: November 2007

Host: Tanna (My Kitchen in Half Cups)
Post Date: Monday, November 26

Makes 1 large tender-crumbed pan loaf AND something more; one 10X15 inch crusty yet tender foccacia, 12 soft dinner rolls, or a small pan loaf

Allowed Modifications for Unleashing Your Daring Baker :

You must follow the recipe as written until you get to shaping the bread.
This bread must be savory and not sweet.
You must knead by hand (medical exception allowed)
You can not use a biga, sponge, or starter method.
Recipe ingredient exception allowed only if allergy or an ingredient not available or cost prohibitive in your region.
You may shape this dough anyway you would like: as a loaf, as rolls, as focaccia. You can braid it, twist it whatever.
You may season this bread in any way you see fit: maybe it becomes your turkey stuffing. Maybe you season some sandwich bread for great turkey sandwiches.
You can fill it if you think that will work for you. Think calzone or anything with a savory filling. Again however it must be savory and not sweet.

Suggested Toppings:

For Loaves and Rolls: melted butter (optional)

For Foccacia: olive oil, coarse salt, and rosemary leaves (optional; also see variation)

For Anchovy-Onion Focaccia: Instead of oil, salt, and rosemary, top with onions slow-cooked in olive oil or bacon fat, a scattering of chopped anchovy fillets, and flat-leafed parsley leaves.

Alternate fillings, seasons, shapes are up to you.

Some additional notes about this challenge, recipe and the dough:

If you are new to bread and already your whisks are shaking (or is that your boots), you may bake the bread (or one of it’s variations) just as written.

There are no pictures. I give you the recipe. I cannot give you a photo or drawing of the recipe because that part is yours. That being said there are lots of pictures of other bread recipes that will provide great ideas for you if you decide to unleash that aspect of this recipe.

Potatoes and potato water give this bread wonderful flavor and texture. The dough is very soft and moist and might feel a little scary if you’ve never handled soft dough before. But don’t worry: Leaving it on parchment or wax paper to proof and to bake makes it easy to handle.

Once baked, the crumb is tender and airy, with tiny soft pieces of potato in it and a fine flecking of whole wheat. The loaves have a fabulous crisp texture on the outside and a slightly flat-topped shape. They make great toast and tender yet strong sliced bread for sandwiches. The dinner rolls are soft and inviting, and the focaccia is memorable.

I have chosen this recipe because it gives directions for different ways of shaping the dough and provides oven times and temperatures for those variations.

Some Notes about Flour:
King Arthur Artisan Organic All-Purpose Flour is fairly new in the markets in the US now and is advertised to be best for making European-style hearth breads with a protein level of 11.3%

Conversion Chart for yeast:
1 oz/ 1 Tablespoon of fresh yeast = 0.4 oz/ 1.25 teaspoon active or instant dry yeast = 0.33 oz / 1 teaspoon instant or rapid rise (bread machine) yeast. Reference: Crust & Crumb by Peter Reinhart

Link to online conversion chart for converting recipes from Imperial to Metric: Cooking Conversion Online (http://www.convert-me.com/en/convert/cooking)

Remember, being a Daring Baker is about trying new recipes, techniques and taking risks. It’s reaching just beyond your comfort zone.

This is a Daring Baker Challenge, not a contest and not a competition because at its heart and soul is support and sharing the how to of the baking we do.

Challenge Recipe:

Metric measurements are from the European edition. Thank you Linda (Linda.kovacevic.nl) from Make Life Sweeter


4 medium to large floury (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks.
Tanna Note: For the beginner bread baker I suggest no more than 8 ounces of potato; for the more advanced no more than 16 ounces. The variety of potatoes you might want to use would include Idaho, Russet & Yukon gold, there are others.

4 cups(950 ml) water, reserve cooking water
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
6 ½ cups to 8 ½ cups (1 kg to 1350g) unbleached all-purpose
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (130g) whole wheat flour

Making the Dough (Directions will be for making by hand):

Put the potatoes and 4 cups water in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and cook, half covered, until the potatoes are very tender.

Drain the potatoes, SAVE THE POTATO WATER, and mash the potatoes well. Tanna Note: I have a food mill I will run my potatoes through to mash them.

Measure out 3 cups(750ml) of the reserved potato water. Add extra water if needed to make 3 cups. Place the water and mashed potatoes in the bowl you plan to mix the bread dough in. Let cool to lukewarm (70-80°F/21 - 29°C) – stir well before testing the temperature – it should feel barely warm to your hand. You should be able to submerge you hand in the mix and not be uncomfortable.

Add yeast to 2 cups all-purpose flour and whisk. Add yeast and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes & water and mix well. Allow to rest/sit 5 minutes.

Note about Adding Yeast: If using Active Dry Yeast or Fresh yeast, mix & stir yeast into cooled water and mashed potatoes & water and let stand 5 minutes. Then add 2 cups of flour to the yeast mix and allow to rest several minutes. If using Instant Dry Yeast, add yeast to 2 cups all-purpose flour and whisk. Add yeast and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes & water and mix well. Allow to rest/sit 5 minutes.

Sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and the softened butter; mix well. Add the 1 cup whole wheat flour, stir briefly.

Add 2 cups of the unbleached all-purpose flour and stir until all the flour has been incorporated.
Tanna Note: At this point you have used 4 cups of the possible 8 ½ cups suggested by the recipe.

Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, incorporating flour as needed to prevent sticking. The dough will be very sticky to begin with, but as it takes up more flour from the kneading surface, it will become easier to handle; use a dough scraper to keep your surface clean. The kneaded dough will still be very soft. Place the dough in a large clean bowl or your rising container of choice, cover with plastic wrap or lid, and let rise about 2 hours or until doubled in volume.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead gently several minutes. It will be moist and a little sticky.

Forming the Bread:
Tanna Note: It is at this point you are requested to Unleash the Daring Baker within. The following is as the recipe is written. You are now free to follow as written or push it to a new level.

Divide the dough into 2 unequal pieces in a proportion of one-third and two-thirds (one will be twice as large as the other). Place the smaller piece to one side and cover loosely.

To shape the large loaf:
Butter a 9 x 5 x 2.5 inch loaf/bread pan. Flatten the larger piece of dough on the floured surface to an approximate 12 x 8 inch oval, then roll it up from a narrow end to form a loaf. Pinch the seam closed and gently place seam side down in the buttered pan. The dough should come about three-quarters of the way up the sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 35 to 45 minutes, until puffy and almost doubled in volume.

To make a small loaf with the remainder:
Butter an 8x4X2 inch bread pan. Shape and proof the loaf the same way as the large loaf.

To make rolls:
Butter a 13 x 9 inch sheet cake pan or a shallow cake pan. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Shape each into a ball under the palm of your floured hand and place on the baking sheet, leaving 1/2 inch between the balls. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 35 minutes, until puffy and almost doubled.

To make focaccia:
Flatten out the dough to a rectangle about 10 x 15 inches with your palms and fingertips. Tear off a piece of parchment paper or wax paper a little longer than the dough and dust it generously with flour. Transfer the focaccia to the paper. Brush the top of the dough generously with olive oil, sprinkle on a little coarse sea salt, as well as some rosemary leaves, if you wish and then finally dimple all over with your fingertips. Cover with plastic and let rise for 20 minutes.

Baking the bread(s):

Note about baking order: bake the flat-bread before you bake the loaf; bake the rolls at the same time as the loaf.

Note about Baking Temps: I believe that 450°F(230°C) is going to prove to be too hot for the either the large or small loaf of bread for the entire 40/50 minutes. I am going to put the loaves in at 450°(230°C) for 10 minutes and then turn the oven down to 375°F (190 °C) for the remaining time.

Note about cooling times: Let all the breads cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Rolls can be served warm or at room temperature.

For loaves and rolls:
Dust risen loaves and rolls with a little all-purpose flour or lightly brush the tops with a little melted butter or olive oil (the butter will give a golden/browned crust). Slash loaves crosswise two or three times with a razor blade or very sharp knife and immediately place on the stone, tiles or baking sheet in the oven. Place the rolls next to the loaf in the oven.

Bake rolls until golden, about 30 minutes. Bake the small loaf for about 40 minutes. Bake the large loaf for about 50 minutes.

Transfer the rolls to a rack when done to cool. When the loaf or loaves have baked for the specified time, remove from the pans and place back on the stone, tiles or baking sheet for another 5 to 10 minutes. The corners should be firm when pinched and the bread should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

For foccaia:
Place a baking stone or unglazed quarry tiles, if you have them, if not use a no edged baking/sheet (you want to be able to slide the shaped dough on the parchment paper onto the stone or baking sheet and an edge complicates things). Place the stone or cookie sheet on a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450°F/230°C.

If making foccacia, just before baking, dimple the bread all over again with your fingertips. Leaving it on the paper, transfer to the hot baking stone, tiles or baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack (remove paper) and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Check out what the rest of our fabulous and fierce bakers are up to, the Daring Baker Blogroll.