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Make It Yourself: Grammy’s Winter Bread

Make It Yourself: Grammy’s Winter Bread

As the cold of winter sets in in the Pacific Northwest, us Washingtonians are hunkering down for the rain-filled season of gloom and grey. With the weather, comes my inevitable craving for good, old fashioned vittles.  For our cozy crew, this means herb crusted pork roasts and mashed potatoes, Dutch ovens full of piping hot soup, mulled wine by the gallon, and one of my (new) favorites… warm, crusty, buttered bread.

Now, I have to come clean on this one… the majority of the cuisine that comes out of my kitchen has been perfected over the course of many moons, but this crusty little baby is the first loaf of bread that I have ever made… EVER.  I used a recipe that I found in the depths of my grandmother’s kitchen.  It was written on a napkin and was hidden deep inside a recipe box that has been in the “baking cupboard” for decades and let me tell you what… there’s a reason why it was in that box.  Creating this little loaf of pillowey sunshine is nearly as easy as boiling water and the end result is delicious!

To start, gather up your ingredients grab your stand mixer and your dough hook, or a good ol’ fashioned bowl and spoon, and get ready for to partake in the easiest recipe you have ever made!



In your bowl, add three cups of regular All-Purpose flour (or APF as I like to call it), one teaspoon of salt, one half teaspoon of your active dry yeast and one and a half cups of warm water.



Now that you have all of your ingredients together, it’s time to get-a-mixin’!



If you’re using a stand-mixer, start her on low (this will keep the flour in the bowl and not all over your kitchen counters) and gradually increase the speed until all of the ingredients have come together in a nice pillowey ball and the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Same goes for the old spoon and strength method.  Once the ingredients are combined and the dough pulls away from the sides, you’re ready to go!



And here’s the hard part… the wait.

After your dough has come together, just leave it in your bowl, cover it with plastic and find a nice cozy spot for it to proof.  The dough needs to rise for eight to twenty hours.  This may seem like an obscene amount of time, (I was shooketh when I read those numbers) but I promise you, the wait is COMPLETELY worth it.



I decided to make my dough at around 11 PM and let that baby rise until I came home from work the following afternoon around 6PM… so it sat for just under 20 hours.  I did make a few more loaves and proofed (the fancy term for letting your dough rise) them for different amounts of time within the criteria and they all turned out great!

Here’s what it looked like after proofing!







After my dough had proofed, I floured my countertops with a whole crap-ton of APF.  (This dough is extremely sticky and the liberal flouring really helps with cleanup.)  I used a sifter for even distribution, but regular old sprinkling works perfectly!



Once floured, I rolled and pulled and scraped my dough out of my mixing bowl and onto the floury countertop.



I de-ringed and dunked my hands in some flour and gave that baby a flip, tuck and roll.



You don’t want to overwork your dough so once it’s formed into a nice little button, give your hands a rinse and let that baby rise.



Thirty minutes is all it takes and while your dough is proofing again, you can start to prep your oven.

Crank it up to 450 degrees and get your Dutch oven (D.O), lid and all, in there to get nice and toasty while the oven preheats. If you don’t have a D.O., you can use any baking dish as long as it has high sides and a lid, but the cast iron really helps create that beautiful crust on the bottom of the loaf.



After the thirty minutes has elapsed and your oven and D.O. baking dish are both nice and hot, carefully slice an “X” into the top of your pillowey ball of dough and transfer it into the D.O. dish.



Pop that lid back on and get in the oven. Set your timer for 30 minutes and start to plan all of the delicious things you are going to do with your loaf once it’s done!



After thirty minutes has elapsed, remove the lid and admire your almost-finished product.



It was at this point in the breading process that I had to freak out a little… I couldn’t believe that I created something that looked so pretty and that smelled so good!  (Seriously, your house is going to smell like a bakery)

After having a quick peek at your loaf, toss that lid into the sink (remember, it’s HOT!) and get that bread back into the oven.  Your loaf needs another ten to fifteen minutes uncovered to brown that crust up and you’re in the home stretch!



It is now time to remove your D.O. from the oven and transfer your gorgeous loaf of bread onto a wire rack to cool.



You are going to be tempted to immediately slice and devour the fruits of your patience but the bread slices MUCH easier after it has had the chance to cool for a few minutes.



This loaf sat on the counter for about half an hour before I grabbed the serrated knife and got to slicing.



Mr. Pizza Arm approves!




Bon Appetit!




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In My Belly in 30: Zippy ChickParm (Chicken Parmesan)

In My Belly in 30: Zippy ChickParm (Chicken Parmesan)

I love chicken parmesan. And as  you’ve probably noticed, I’m  not one of those people that has time to be completely organic, Paleo, gluten-free, etc. Sometimes, I barely have time to sit down to eat at all. That’s real life for me. Maybe your life looks different. Nothing wrong with that. So I’ve been in need of a quick and yummy chicken parmesan recipe.

In fact, I’m always looking for recipes that are delicious, easy, quick, and not completely horrible for my health.



When I find one, I add it to my monthly rotation, and I share it with everyone!

Hence, the idea for In My Belly in 30. In order for a recipe to qualify for this series, it has to be able to be cooked in 30 minutes or less, be uncomplicated, and fairly inexpensive, and not horribly unhealthy. Most importantly, it has to be delish!


The Dish

The first recipe I’ll share in the In My Belly In 30 series is my Zippy ChickParm. This is a super yummy and easy-to-follow recipe that is sure to please anyone you make it for.


So, first things first, we need wine. Today our selection comes from the Provence of the Target Clearance section. It was a whopping $2.99!


Get your priorities straight and start with a glass of wine


I almost always pour myself a glass of wine before I begin cooking because I am an adult and I can drink wine when I cook if I want to. I also feel like it gets my creative juices flowing. And I tend to pour a splash of wine into almost everything I make. Yea, sometimes my life is awesome!

Now that we have wine in hand, let’s do this!



Zippy ChickParm


3 or 4 frozen breaded chicken breasts/tenderloins

24 ounce jar of marinara sauce

2 cups finely shredded mozzarella

1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon parsley

1 teaspoon white sugar


Ingredients for Zippy ChickParm




Preheat oven to 425 degrees:


Oven to 425 ° F


Spray an 8 by 8 inch glass pan with nonstick coating:


8 X 8 glass baking pan


3. Pour about 1/4 cup (guessing is fine, exact measurements are unnecessary) of marinara sauce into the 8 X 8 inch pan. Spread evenly with rubber spatula to coat whole bottom of pan:




Gather garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, and sugar (yea, I use cheap spices, what you gonna do about it??):




Measure each spice right into the jar with remaining marinara sauce:




Put the lid on the jar and shake very well, about two minutes, to thoroughly mix the spices into the sauce:




Side point: The sugar is important, so don’t skip it. It cuts the acidity from the tomatoes. I always put a teaspoon of sugar in red sauces.

Ok, back to the recipe. Next, place three or four frozen breaded chicken breasts or tenderloins into sauced pan arranging evenly.  I use Tyson brand, which you can get a big bag of at Sam’s Club or Costco. I only use three, because there’s only two of us eating during the week (so that leaves an extra for Mr. OG’s lunch the next day), but four will fit fine:




Pour spiced marinara sauce over chicken breasts:




Spread sauce evenly:




Sprinkle about 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese over sauce. Then sprinkle the 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese over the mozzarella. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella over top of Parmesan. Splitting the cheese this way makes sure the Parm doesn’t get really hard on top, and both cheeses melt evenly:




Place dish on center rack of preheated oven:





Set timer for 25 minutes:



At this point, I like to make sure and pour myself a second glass of wine, because it take a lot of sips to get through food prep.

While the timer is going, make your sides. I like to keep it simple. I usually boil some thin spaghetti noodles (use any kind of noodle you like), and simmer some canned or fresh green beans in butter, salt and pepper. Texas toast or garlic bread is a yummy side, too.

After 25 minutes, your ChickParm should look like this:




Yummers!! Serve over the noodles!




There’s your gorgeous Zippy ChickParm! Don’t forget to pour yourself another glass of wine before digging in!

Like I promised, if you followed the instructions correctly, you will have a yummy hot meal in 30 minutes from start to finish! Also, you will likely be a little bit tipsy. What’s bad about that?

Bon Appetit!!



**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**


Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

Do your friends and family a solid and share this post so they can benefit from it, too! Just click the appropriate button below to share it to your preferred social media platform. Thank you for supporting The Bonafide Broad!