Thoroughly Thrifty Thursday

(slinking into the room LATE)

Hey guys, how ya doin’? Were you waiting for me or something? You should have called, I had no idea you’d be looking for me. Alright, nuf with the delusions of self-importance. I’m sorry I’m late. It’s been a busy day for your Nugget Momma. Sheaping (shopping CHEAP), cleaning (it HAD to be done) and baking! Yup I baked today in 91 degree heat with 243% humidity. WHY? Because I wanted to take an awsome picture of the beautiful bread I’m going to temp you into making. I had it all set up. Antique earthenware bowl, soft green linen towel, crusty Artisan Boule. You could almost hear the guys over at Panera calling their pals at Au Bon Pain to plot my demise.

However thanks to my trusty (read crappy) Kodak Easy (crappy) Share (crappity crap crap crap) camera there will be NO photo! One saving grace of the Kodak company is that they do have fast customer service. After all the LAST time I had to send the camera I bought in FEBRUARY in for service I got it back in just two days. Sadly the bread doesn’t have that long to live. Around this house I doubt it’s got minutes let alone days.

Never fear Nuggetiers (oh hey I rhymed there!) you’ll be making your own frou frou bread in no time… AND cheap too! This is what you’ll need:

3 cups luke warm water(no more than 100 degrees)
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (about 1 1/2 packets if you use those)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher (NOT TABLE) salt
6 1/2 cups unsifted all purpose flour

And kiddos you can get all that for around $6 or LESS. This method will give you 2 to 3 lb loaves (enough for a honkin’ sammie for two or thick slices smothered in Nutella for 8).. so LESS than $3 bucks a loaf.. Try gettin’ THAT at Panera!

You are gonna need a baking stone or pizza stone. It really doesn’t work without it. And I use a 1/4 cup of corn meal for extra crunch and so there is no sticking to the work surface (mine is a good old wooden cutting board, but the COOL kids have pizza peals).

BEST YET this needs NO kneading (rhymed again, BONUS!)

Let your yeast and salt get groovy with the water in a 5 quart bowl with a lid that is NOT airtight. Put the flour in your tre chic Kitchen Aid Stand mixer, we all have one right? (you can just put it the bowl by hand) Add the water and mix until you have a wet dough and no more loose flour, about 3 minutes. Cover the bowl and let it set up for 2 hours. It’s not going to rise too big so don’t freak if it doesn’t. After that 2 hour partay, stick the bowl into the fridge. This will REALLY help you when you’re ready to work with it. After it’s all chill and stuff cut off about one third of it. Sprinkle your work surface with corn meal, or flour. Flour the top of the dough and your hands so you can work it in a circle tucking under the ends until you get a nice ball about the size of a grapefruit. Let it hang out on your cutting board for about 20 minutes. After that 20 minutes put your baking stone in the oven. On a rack about two rungs up put an empty broiler pan. Let them hang out in the oven for about 20 more minutes while it pre-heats to 450 degrees. Ding, Ding, times up! Now use a serrated knife and cut slashes on the top of the bread (flour the knife and it won’t stick to the dough). Slide the dough onto the hot stone. Pour one cup of warm water into the broiler pan and slap that oven door closed quick. That will keep in the steam you need for the crackly crust.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is a nice dark brown. Take it out and let it cool on a wire rack. Hear that hissing sound? That’s the bread “singing” this means the crust is gonna ROCK!

Off to your ovens peeps! I want to see YOUR pics, since I suck and don’t have any! BTW, I found this method in an AWESOME book called “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. It’s a bit pricey but WORTH it! Or you can go THOROUGHLY THRIFTY and check it out at your local library. I did that and STILL ended up buying the book!

One more deal for the day. Calling all CVS fans and Newbies… This week you can get 3 Extra Care Bucks (same as cash at CVS stores) when you buy 2 Glade Sense n’ Spray starter kits at 2 for $10. Not to bad BUT if you can get your hands on the $4 off any one Glade Sense n’ Spray starter kit COUPON (in the 8/23 paper).. well use two of them, pay $2 out of your pocket and get $3 back in Extra Care Bucks.. that is like getting PAID $1 for your Glade! (did it again, it’s rhyme time gang!)

And I did NOT forget the winner of the Oscar Mayer Lunchables and school supplies.. that would be the lovely Stacy of Stacy’s Random Thoughts (I hope Princess Nagger LOVES them!)

Oh and just cuz I can’t stand it…. here is a picture of what my bread looked like only it’s not my bread DAM DAM DAM!

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