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mistakes happen

Just in case you missed Valley Dish and the seriously awesome dish we made, here is the LINK… and the recipe for the dish will be posted in the next couple of days… it’s so good!!!

If I’ve ever led you to believe that mistakes aren’t made here at Les Petites Gourmettes Cooking School, please forgive me. Although not necessarily every day, certainly at least every other day!  Eggs are cracked, not into the bowl as intended, but rather onto the floor. Flour has been thought to be powdered sugar when making frosting… easy to fix, just start over. Things burn, they are undercooked or overcooked, you get the idea.  Most are minor and easily repaired or corrected… while others… not so much.

Let’s see, there was a time a couple of years ago when a pair of young boys added 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper to a pot of chili, instead of 1/4 teaspoon. That went directly into the trash. Thankfully, that’s actually rare, when something ends up in the garbage, although I was certain it was going to happen again last week…

When we’re making yeast bread, I make a batch of the dough early that morning to allow for enough time to actually serve the bread for lunch the same day.  With the mixing time, rising time, baking time, and such; it would be impossible for the kids to start from scratch and still finish in time. So I make a batch, let it rise, then the kids use that dough to form and bake. And while it is baking, they start at the beginning and make the dough, this way they still complete the entire recipe, just a bit out of order. I place their dough into a ziplock, toss it in the refrigerator, and later after they leave, or even the next day, I bake it.  So obviously the bread they baked and ate in class last week was fine and dandy, since it was the dough I had made that morning.

But the next day, when I went to bake the dough the kids had made, it hadn’t risen, not one iota. Which meant one thing, they hadn’t added the yeast!  What to do, how do I get yeast into the already made dough? I mixed the yeast with 1/4 cup warm water, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1/4 cup flour. I left that proof for 15 minutes and created a “sponge”. Then I slowly added small portions of the dough to the sponge in the standing mixer until it was fully incorporated.

Surprisingly and happily it worked and we enjoyed perfectly good breadsticks over the weekend.  But honestly, if you never make a mistake, you’re really not putting yourself out there, you’re not really trying!  So… another mistake fixed – Victory is mine!

Rosemary-Gruyere Breadsticks

1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup warm water
1  3/4 cups warm milk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon salt
4 3/4  to 5  cups flour, divided
1  1/4 cups grated Gruyere cheese, mixed with 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
Garlic Topping
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Sea Salt

Combine yeast, sugar, and water in a small bowl.  Stir to dissolve and let stand 10 minutes, until foamy.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine milk and butter.  Add the yeast mixture, salt, and 2 cups of flour.  Beat until smooth, continue adding flour, 1 cup at a time until dough is stiff.  Add cheese and rosemary.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes, adding flour 1 tablespoon at a time as necessary.  Place in a greased bowl, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and either line with Silpat mats or lightly grease 2 baking sheets.

Punch dough down, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into 4 equal portions.

Divide each quarter into 12 portions, for a total of 48 pieces.

Roll each portion with your palms into a  short stick about 1-inch in diameter.

Let breadsticks rest for 5 minutes, then roll each again to about a 1/2-inch in diameter stick.

Let breadsticks rest for another 5 minutes, then roll each again to about a 1/4-inch diameter breadstick.

Place breadsticks on baking sheets. Cover with clean kitchen towels and let rise in a warm place for about 25 minutes.

Garlic Topping: Melt together the butter and oil and stir in the minced garlic.  Brush breadsticks with garlic mixture and sprinkle with sea salt, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Makes 48 breadsticks

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1 John Monday { 06.30.11 at 10:48 AM }

I know a lot of folks who don’t eat eggs (they’re allergic, for health reasons, or concerns about animal cruelty). Here’s an awesome site that gives tips on cooking and baking without eggs: http://EggFreeLiving.com

2 Linda Hopkins { 06.30.11 at 2:34 PM }

Thank you, John. Just check out the site, looks great. I appreciate the good reference source. Have a great holiday weekend.

3 Marissa { 06.30.11 at 4:58 PM }

send me some bread sticks please!!!!!!!!!!!

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