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