Sunday Dinner

Shrimp Étouffée
Buttered White Rice
New Orleans French Bread

Salted Caramel and Vanilla Baked Cheesecake

Tell me how one is supposed to prepare a Sunday dinner, let alone enjoy it, when one of your children has three basketball games scheduled over the course of the day and you have to fulfill a two hour volunteer assignment at the concession stand?!  Steps, strategy, and get my husband to run the concession stand while I do the last minute prep:)

I made the cheesecake minus the topping yesterday and it is chilling in the refrigerator.  The bread is rising between games one and two and it will be baked between games two and three.  I will prepare the slaw between the last two games, prep the veggies for the Étouffée, and enjoy the appetizer as well.  Then while my husband is manning the concession stand after the last game, I will finish the cheesecake, steam the rice, and cook up some smothered shrimp.  With planning and time management it all will get done.  We will eat late Sunday night, making sure every last bit is mopped up with a piece of this New Orleans French Bread.

This bread is incredibly tender on the inside with a crisp, golden crust. I use this recipe for loaves, rolls, buns, and just about anything that requires a bread that compliments the flavors of the meal.  It is delicious served at room temperature, but this bread's true characteristics come out when it is sliced and reheated in a warm oven.  The crust gets crispier and the inside is warm and soft.  It is a good platform for a schmear of butter, but it is even better to soak up the sauce.

New Orleans French Bread
makes 2 loaves

3 cups bread flour
1 Tablespoon dry active yeast
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon vegetable shortening
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, shortening, and water.  Mix on low speed until a dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Add the salt and increase the speed to medium; knead for 10 minutes.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a ball.  Lightly grease the inside of the mixing bowl and return the dough to the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free space to rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently deflate the dough.  Divide the dough in half and form into balls.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow them to rest for 15 minutes.  Form each ball into a 16 x 2 inch loaf.  Place the loaves onto a large parchment lined baking sheet, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside in a draft-free space to rise for 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375º F.  Bake the loaves until golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Transfer to racks to cool completely.  Slice and serve at room temperature or rewarm before serving.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Lee Bailey's New Orleans, by Lee Bailey


  1. These posts make me SO HUNGRY every week.

    Can you share the slaw vinaigrette recipe? Is it just a standard mix with garlic added? Thanks!

  2. Hilarity in Shoes-
    I am glad you enjoy the posts:) I usually just wing the slaw recipe, but I will try and jot something down tonight when I prepare it. It is simply cabbage, with green onions, and parsley. Then I make a vinaigrette with some garlic and thyme. Nothing fancy, but it compliments the meal well.

  3. angelitacarmelitaJanuary 09, 2012

    I wish I had been at your house for dinner Sunday! what a lovely menu. I'd love to see the salted caramel vanilla cheesecake recipe.. yum.

  4. Angelita-
    Thank you. I have a few tweaks I need to make for the cheesecake recipe, but I will share it in the future:)

  5. Hi! I wandered over here from foodgawker, because I adore French bread! This recipe looks delicious. Here's my question: my house is neither warm nor draft-free, so I have trouble getting bread to rise during the winter. Think this recipe would work in my bread machine? Would I have to make any adjustments? (the bread machine was a Christmas gift - I'm still getting used to it!) Thanks!

  6. Hello, Rebecca, I don't have a bread machine, but from what I know the initial knead and rise would work in the machine, but the final rise would have to be at room temperature. My galley kitchen is cool in the winter as well, but I have a few ticks that help me out. For my initial rise, I heat a bowl of water in the microwave to steam and then place the dough in the turned off microwave to rise. For the second rise, I preheat the oven to the lowest setting and then turn it off. I place the shaped loaves in the oven and let them rise. Hope this helps (I think I "knead" to add this as a kitchen tip:)). Happy Cooking!

  7. I love your blog! My husband does as well, he doesn't read it but loves your Southern recipes! I have never attempted to make bread...for some reason, I am always so intimidated by it, but I think I need to give it a shot. I love French Bread! Yours looks amazing. I am always holding my breath to see if you will post your Shrimp Etouffée recipe too ;)

    Your corn fritters and black eyed pea and collard green soup is on my menu list this month! Can't wait to try them!

  8. Nicole-
    Thank you for the kind comment. I hope you enjoy the recipes:) I have to make a few adjustments to the shrimp Etouffée before it is blog worthy, but I will try to share it soon. Happy cooking and baking!


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