Pane e Vino

Last week I brought you the list of things that I really suck at.  After a bit of feedback (mostly from myself) I thought I would bring you a more unconventional list of things that I am really, REALLY. good at. Really.  Keep in mind that I avoided the obvious talents like my sense of humor, being funny, and always making people laugh.

1. Guessing the criminal in detective shows; in fact, all of the women in my family are exceptionally good at this.

2. Waking up on time without an alarm.

3. Laughing at all of my own jokes.

4. Making dogs really excited about the moment.

5. Balance.  Not like Eat, Pray, Love balance. More specifically, perching myself on almost anything.

6. Climbing Door Frames. I should explain…

Okay, hold up for one second though. Doesn’t this photo remind you of the wrinkly part of a dogs face where the mouth meets the cheek? A little bit? Don’t you just want to grab it and wiggle it back and forth while saying “Ooooouuuuu”?

Back to my mastery at climbing door frames…

This happens to be my step-dad’s favourite thing to watch me do. The fascination begins with my ability to spread all of my individual toes apart and use them to grip the wall on each side of the door frame. And you already know I live to please, and convince people that I am actually as funny as I think I am so I will subject myself to an extremely dangerous situation where I could crack my head open to hear him laugh at me. With me. At me? Am I talking too fast?

Right in-line with my innate need to please, {especially my family}, I jumped right on the opportunity to make bread with my step-dad Mike when he asked.  We used Nonna Red’s timeless Italian Pane recipe, my comfort-carb of choice.

This has to be the easiest bread recipe you can possibly make.  Its simplicity should be no surprise as it is made by the Italians; what Nonna has time to spend on making bread when you have an entire 9 course feast to prepare?

The only thing easier than making it is the ease at which you can eat it.  All of it.  And then a bit more.

It also makes a glass of wine and cheese go down pretty easy, not that you would ever have trouble with wine and cheese…

I will take this opportunity to tell you how nice it was to be home, cooking with my family.  Mike and I shared a huge high-five when we successfully executed this recipe, that holds such high standards in my stomach.

We’re good.



Italian Pane Recipe

Makes two, large loaves

1 package dry active yeast

2 cups of warm water

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp salt

7 cups all-purpose flour

Add yeast and water to a large mixing bowl, let proof.  Mix in oil and salt.  Add flour to the mixture one cup at a time mixing well between additions.  Dough should be stiff once enough flour is added.  If the dough is still runny, add more flour.  On a floured surface, kneed the dough until it is uniform in texture (3-4 minutes).  Place it in a bowl and cover it with a tea towel.  Place it in a warm environment for 1.5 hours {see note}.  Mold the bread into the desired shape {we made 1 large loaf and 8 small buns}.  Return to a warm place to rise for another.  Heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Bake bread for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  You will know the bread is done when it is light pink in colour and it is no longer heavy when you lift it.

Note: A really great tip I learned from Smitten Kitchen it to heat your oven to 150 degrees and then turn it off.  Store your bread in your oven while it rises.


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