With New Years Eve just a couple of days away, many people will be hosting parties. With every good party, there are plenty of munchies for people to nibble on and help keep their blood alcohol level down. Home baked bread and dipping oil is a great snack to keep out for a long evening. It can sit for hours and you do not have to worry about it going bad. Your only real worry is one of your guests double dipping in the oil (eewwww!!!!). There are two benefits to serving home baked bread and dipping oil at any gathering where there may be some drinking. The first benefit is that bread really helps soak up the alcohol in one's stomach. If you have ever gotten sick from a little too much spirit, you understand why this is helpful. The second benefit is that the dipping oil helps coat the stomach, again, this is very helpful when you and your stomach cannot agree on what is the appropriate amount of alcohol. Whenever I have a gathering where the drinking is likely to be plentiful, I always serve home baked bread with dipping oil for all of the above reasons.
The nice thing about home baked bread and dipping oil is that it can be put out for a party, a nice before dinner appetizer, or even when you and your friends are just sitting around drinking wine. Ok, you don't have to always be drinking when you serve home baked bread and dipping oil, but it sure does make it a lot more fun. When I make bread and dipping oil at home, it lasts about 15 minutes, if I am lucky. I have two sons in the house and they barely wait for the bread to cool before they start ripping off pieces and dipping it in the oil. Of course, the dog is right there waiting for her share too. The below recipe was put together for using a stand mixer. If you do not have one, don't worry. Everything can still be done the same way, it is just going to be a heck of a workout on your arms.
With the dipping oil, I usually make it in a curette and pour small amounts into shallow bowls as needed. The ingredients often settle to the bottom so I don't want my guests to have to put their whole arm in the oil just so they can get some of the yumminess that is at the bottom. If you make the dipping oil in a curette, you can shake it well before refilling the small shallow bowls you have strategically place around your home. This will make things much easier for you and your guests.
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 hearty tablespoon active dry yeast (or use two .25-ounce packages yeast)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 5 1⁄2-6 1⁄2 cups bread flour (more if needed)
- 3 teaspoons sea salt
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons vegetable oil (or use Canola oil, DO NOT substitute butter or shortening for the oil it will affect the texture)
- 2 Tablespoons of Calvino’s Organic Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped FRESH Rosemary (do NOT use dried. Dried Rosemary is to tough for this bread)
- 2 Tablespoons of cornmeal
- In a small cup or bowl mix 1 teaspoon sugar into warm water until combined.
- Stir in active dry yeast and mix gently.
- Cover the cup and allow to proof until foamy (about 8 minutes, if the yeast does not foam discard and make again).
- Place 5-1/2 cups flour in the stainless steel mixing bowl along with the salt, sugar, chopped FRESH rosemary and 5 tablespoons oil.
- After the yeast has proofed add to the bowl .
- Start kneading process adding in more flour a tablespoon at a time as needed to create a soft smooth semi-sticky dough (kneading should take about 8 minutes).
- Add Calvino’s Organic Olive Oil about half way through the kneading process.
- Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface; cover with a clean tea towel (or lightly cover with plastic wrap) and let rest for 3 minutes (this is important, allow to sit for 3 minutes).
- Oil a large deep bowl.
- Gather up the dough and gently knead into a ball (the dough will come together easily after resting).
- Place the dough into the bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 1 hour or until doubled.
- Punch down the dough and remove to a lightly floured surface.
- Divide the dough evenly in half.
- Cover both pieces of dough and allow to rest for 5 minutes (this will make shaping the dough easier).
- Roll each dough into about a 9 x 12-inch rectangle, then roll up jelly-roll fashion starting at long edge.
- Seal edges and seam of each loaf.
- Grease a large baking sheet then sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons cornmeal.
- Place the two long shaped loaves onto the pan seam-side down spacing apart.
- Using a razor blade or a small sharp knife slash each loaf 3 times diagonally.
- Cover with a clean tea towel (or lightly cover with plastic wrap) and allow to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
Dipping Oil Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup of DOP Classic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Egocala II
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon of fresh chopped garlic
- 1 Tablespoon of basil
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
Dipping Oil Instructions:
- Add all ingredients into a curette
- Put lid on curette
- Shake super well
- Pour small amounts into small shallow bowls
- Shake and refill bowls as needed.
Flavors of Lonato Products Used: