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Bread To Celebrate The Harvest And A Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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First of all, my post yesterday was supposed to publish today, I must have done something wrong when I scheduled the post, I decided not to pull it and didn’t mention it hoping no one noticed the discrepancy. It is actually one year ago today that my Nando passed.  Thank you all for your kind words and support!

August 1 is the day that the harvest is celebrated, it is nearing the end of the summer and fruits and vegetables are ripe and ready for harvest. We are also inching closer to the Fall (my favorite season) looking forward to cooler temperatures, apples, pumpkins, sweaters, leaves turning a beautiful color, Halloween. Well, I guess you can tell how much I love the Autumn. To celebrate a plentiful and abundant harvest I made some bread. This bread has been posted on this blog numerous times, it’s a recipe I use over and over each time with stellar results. The recipe is from my friend Cynthia @The Solitary Cook. She is a professional chef, baker, caterer, restauranteur, she is amazing. The bread always turns out good. The recipe makes a lot of bread. I made a large boule, 8 rolls and still have bread dough resting in the fridge that I will make tomorrow, it gets even better with a good long rest to develop. The grilled cheese sandwich was inspired by my dear friend Cheryl (cheffie cooks Wiser, aka super woman who successfully runs 9 blogs, I have mentioned her before. She made this wonderful grilled cheese sandwich and although I cannot find it on her site, I wanted to give a shout out to Cheryl who inspires me all the time.

I made the bread yesterday and it was dinner with a salad made from tomatoes from my garden and from the farmers market and some tomato balsamic jam and olive oil to dip that bread in.

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This is an abbreviated version of the bread recipe without the wonderful tutorial from Cynthia, follow the link to her blog for expert directions.

Rustic Italian Bread

Makes 3 loaves, or 2 loaves and 8 rolls (You decide)

Preferment

12 ounces warm water

1 tsp active dry yeast or 1/2 tsp instant yeast (I used 1 tsp instant yeast)

2 cups bread flour

Mix everything together, cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and let rise until double in bulk. Then refrigerate overnight.

The Bread Dough

16 oz warm water

2 tsp active dry yeast or 1 tsp instant yeast ( I used 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast)

1/4 cup warm milk

approx 1 heaping tbs of honey

The preferment

2 tsp salt

4 cups bread flour

2 cups all purpose flour

Note: If using active dry yeast add the water and yeast and whisk to combine. If using instant you don’t have to do that you can add everything together.

Add all ingredients to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix until it is completely combined there should be no streaks of flour. Turn off the mixer, you will let the dough rest it’s called autolyse. Cover the bowl with plastic and let sit for 20-30 minutes. When you see the dough after you have let it rest it will come together nicely when kneaded. Turn the mixer on and knead for at least 5 minutes, if the dough is too wet add a little more bread flour so it’s cohesive. You will know when the dough is ready by doing the windowpane test, grab a walnut size piece of dough and stretch gently with your fingers, if it doesn’t break it’s read, if it does break knead a little longer to develop the gluten.

Oil a very large bowl or 2 large bowls, plop the dough in, turn over so it’s oiled on top. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and let rise until doubled. Once it’s risen you can take as much of the dough as you want and make some bread, put the other dough in the refrigerator to rest for up to 2 days.

Once risen, form your bread onto a parchment lined baking sheet, dust with flour and cover with a tea towel and let it rise for about an hour. To know if it’s ready it should have almost doubled in bulk and when you gently press your finger onto the dough the indent should stay not pop back.

While your bread is rising pre heat the oven to 450 degree’s. Slash the top of the bread approximately 1/2 inch deep, dust with flour and place in the oven, throw in some ice cubes and reduce the heat to 425 degree’s. Turn the pan around after 15 minutes and bake approximately 35-40 minutes depending on the size of the loaf or rolls. The bread should sound hollow when tapped and be a nice golden brown. Let cool completely before slicing.

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Grilled Cheese Sandwich – No recipe required

Grilled zucchini

arugula (optional)

sauteed shallot or onion

tomato or tomato jam

cheese (I used taleggio)

Butter

olive oil

bread

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Grill the zucchini and saute the shallot until nicely browned season with a little salt. Put it all together and grill in olive oil and butter until crispy golden brown and cheese is melty and gooey.

 

108 Comments Post a comment
  1. Grilled cheese sandwich is the main reason I find eating gluten free depressing. Most of the time gf alternatives are superb, but for some reason grilled cheese sandwich just isn’t the same gluten free. Yours looks absolutely mouth-watering and your bread sounds delicious too… Freshly-cooked bread and still-warm from the garden tomatoes are hard to beat. 🙂

    August 1, 2016
    • I have never made gf bread before, cakes yes, pancakes, waffles but never a yeast bread. I bet there is a way to make a good gf bread so you can have your grilled cheese. Thank you so much.

      August 1, 2016
  2. I like my bread good and crusty. Now I’m hungry. Is it lunchtime yet?

    August 1, 2016
  3. I had a feeling by viewing the picture of the bread and how delicious it looks just waiting for “bite me” it had to be Italian 😎

    August 1, 2016
  4. First of all, bless little Nando. My heart goes out to you as I know you miss your dear, sweet pug. Second of all, I want to reach into this post to pick up this delicious looking sandwich and eat it right this second. It’s time for lunch here in St. Louis, and my mouth is watering looking at this delectable picture!. YUM! I know I could never make this like you do, but I’m dreaming of it anyway. LOVE and beyond to you. 🙂

    August 1, 2016
    • So do I ! 🙂

      August 1, 2016
      • FYI: I went out to order a good grilled cheese sandwich over the weekend. SO disappointed! 😦

        August 3, 2016
      • @kcg1974 isn’t that the worst, same thing happened to me not too long ago at a grilled cheese food truck at the Bklyn flea, it was lackluster and I was so disappointed.

        August 3, 2016
    • Thank you so much, today is bittersweet, I can’t help but think about my boy and am trying to concentrate on the good memories. The sandwich is delicious and I wish I could bring you one for lunch. Thank you again.

      August 1, 2016
      • Love and kisses to your sweet memories of Nando. 😘

        August 3, 2016
  5. Suzanne, you are a fairy ! Not only an Autumn Fairy, but for all seasons.
    Félicitations aussi pour la belle présentation.
    J’ai faim ! I am hungry ! – Bises et amitiés – et merci – france 🙂

    August 1, 2016
    • Ah yes an Autumn Fairy, I love that France, merci and thank you so much. Aimerait vous apporter un sandwich. Merci un million de fois. LOL, My french is terriible I hope you can understand. hugs and kisses!!

      August 1, 2016
  6. The bread is a thing of beauty – and so is the sandwich! Now I’m hungry! 🙂

    August 1, 2016
  7. You are the greatest to even mention me in your blog-I appreciate you as you know. Love the bread, love the sandwich! Go my friend and bake away (I want some!). Be well. xo Cheryl, a whisper from Nando xo, Izzy xo, too!

    August 1, 2016
  8. I’m drooling over both the gorgeous bread and sandwich! 🙂

    August 1, 2016
  9. That bread looks amazing, Suzanne! It is a work of art. I love grilled cheese and can’t even imagine how good it must have been with homemade bread!

    August 1, 2016
    • Thank you Shari, I don’t usually have homemade bread to make it but it’s definitely really good. But grilled cheese is just plain good on any kind of bread.

      August 1, 2016
  10. I am hungry and I need lunch, your sandwhich would be perfect. I am going to make your tomato jam.

    August 1, 2016
    • Thank you so much Gerlinde. I love this tomato jam because it’s not sweet, only 1 tsp of sugar and the natural sweetness from the tomato and balsamic vinegar.

      August 1, 2016
  11. Reblogged this on ravenhawks' magazine and commented:
    Lammas Blessing to you Suzanne, the grilled cheese sandwich looks great.

    August 1, 2016
  12. Thank you so much Dyanna for the re blog and Lammas blessings to you as well.

    August 1, 2016
  13. Beautiful, beautiful bread! That’s a great recipe although I have 1 question- what’s a preferment? And why do you mix it to the bread dough? Ok. That’s 2 questions. 😜
    I’ve been on a bread recipe quest and still looking for that “perfect” one. 🙂

    August 1, 2016
    • The preferment is made before you make the bread dough and added to it while making the dough. It’s just another layer that adds flavor and rise to the dough. It’s so easy to make and is also called biga. Sort of like the sourdough starter only made the day before and all of it is used in the recipe. This makes a lot of bread and the bread made from the dough that has developed in the refrigerator for several days is the best, the most complex and delicious. Thank you so much.

      August 1, 2016
      • Ahhh! That makes sense. I haven’t seen that in any recipes I found so far. It does sound complex…and you did it! Nothing like home-made bread. 😀

        August 2, 2016
  14. Looks beautiful!! I want to make home made breads and I think this recipe (and pictures) are going to help me make it soon!

    August 1, 2016
    • It’s a wonderful recipe Archana, hope you give it a try!! Thank you so much.

      August 1, 2016
  15. Autumn is my favorite time of year too, but I’m not in a hurry for summer to end. Your home must have smelled so good, Suzanne. Your grilled cheese is a delicious looking comfort food that’s making my mouth water for one.

    August 1, 2016
    • Thanks so much Mary, I am afraid I am in a hurry for the summer to end, not a fan of heat and humidity. I wish I could have all the summer produce year round, can’t have it all though. Thank you so much.

      August 1, 2016
      • This has been an extremely hot summer for my area but after autumn comes winter and I’m not a fan of the cold and snow anymore. If only fall could last longer. Enjoy the lovely season!

        August 1, 2016
  16. What a gorgeous crusty loaf of bread, Suzanne. I wish I had one of those sandwiches right now — superb! I’m not familiar with any kind of tomato jam — my curiosity is piqued. You made a glorious harvest feast my friend. Way to celebrate! Mega hugs!

    August 1, 2016
    • Thanks so much Teagan, the bread is good and I love the tomato jam, it’s not really a jam though not sweet at all. Mega hugs!!!

      August 1, 2016
  17. I’m reading this in bed, and I had to stop myself from getting up and going to the kitchen… (I’ve just had dinner)😋

    August 1, 2016
    • Thank you, so much, LOL, don’t want you to have bad dream from having an overfull stomach at bedtime. Thank you!!

      August 1, 2016
  18. wow – that bread looks like it’s worth all the work!

    August 1, 2016
  19. Everything looks amazing!

    August 1, 2016
  20. Wow, what a drool-worthy sammy there Suzanne! I am jealous of your bread-making skills. I’ll have to test out that tomato jam later in the summer when my tomatoes come in. So many recipes, so little time! xoxo

    August 1, 2016
    • I’m afraid my bread making is confined to only a few recipes that I have mastered. One day I hope to take a Artisan bread making course. Thanks so much Kathryn, the tomato jam is delicious,

      August 1, 2016
  21. Now that’s a grilled cheese sandwich! Wow! Looks amazing.

    August 1, 2016
  22. This is a lovely dish with the best of ingredients! Can’t wait to try it 🙂

    August 1, 2016
  23. Impressive bread, Suzanne…it looks better than what most bakeries offer. And that sandwich? Yes, please!

    August 1, 2016
  24. Both bread and sandwich look great. Grilling the bread is a great way to use leftovers.

    August 2, 2016
    • Thanks Stefan, yes love grilling bread my favorite is adding to a salad. I also make into bread crumbs and freeze.

      August 2, 2016
      • I also make bread crumbs, but as they are dry they don’t need to be frozen. I just keep them in an airtight jar.

        August 2, 2016
  25. I am absolutely in love with you this sandwich. It looks so inviting. Can you please share how to make tomato jam? Never heard of it before. I am a bit curious to learn that. 😀

    August 2, 2016
    • Hi and thank you so much. If you click on the link, Balsamic Tomato Jam you can see the recipe, but it’s so simple you don’t really need one. I cut the tomatoes into pieces, saute some shallots until they are soft in a little olive oil, add the tomatoes and a tsp of sugar and cook until the tomatoes are caramelized, almost dry with only a small amount of the juice left, now add a tbs of balsamic vinegar, stir to combine and place in a clean jar. It will keep weeks in the refrigerator.

      August 2, 2016
      • Wow.. this sounds so easy, I am sure going to try it soon 🙂 thanks a lot 🙂

        August 2, 2016
  26. I absolutely love grilled cheese sandwich, your are browned so perfectly!

    August 2, 2016
  27. Haha Suzanne, tell you what. Bread is holding over my head this two days. I just want to make bread but still have no idea what bread I will make. You save me now! Thanks so much for this beautiful bread. I will make it tonight! 🙂

    August 2, 2016
    • Mochi, thank you so much. This holiday I am making that special pannetone you posted last year. I am looking forward to it and saved the recipe. Thank you so much and hope all is well.

      August 2, 2016
      • Hope you enjoy the weather and the bread! 🙂

        August 5, 2016
  28. Aw sweet Nando – I’m sure you lost a piece of your heart Suzanne. I love my dog so much it is silly. Sending you hugs. ❤

    I'm going to try this bread. I used to make sourdough and kept a starter going for ages but I've killed two batches of starter now and decided not to try again. I love the idea of the preferment or whatever ones chooses to call it. Does the bread have a slightly sour tang to it – because I do love that flavour.

    August 2, 2016
    • Thank you so much Lindy. Yes our dogs are family and the loss is tremendous.
      The bread is not like a sour dough but I think that if you left the preferrment for several days out of the fridge and maybe a few days in the fridge it would develop that sour taste. I just made a loaf that had the dough sitting for 2 days and it’s even better than the one I made with the freshly risen dough. If you have had good Italian Bread thats what this is, really good and easy to make which for me is key.

      August 2, 2016
  29. Oh that looks so wonderful. I recently made bread but it really didn’t look as good as yours and Cynthias, obviously I must try again following your recipe – I was thinking of Nando when I saw your name too, a year has passed already. You must still look up sometimes expecting to see him come through the door…I love my cat so much too, although I know he won’t live forever, I try to not think about it..

    August 2, 2016
    • I call his name and sometimes call Percy Nando, I used to call him Nans and when Percy is in the kitchen with me I will sometimes call him that. I doubt I will ever really get over it. I know exactly what you mean, I try not to think about it. Once you have been down that road you know what to expect and it’s not any easier it’s harder. Thank you so much.

      August 2, 2016
  30. How wonderful to read that you ate tomatoes from your garden! They grew. 🙂 And your grilled sandwich looks incredible. Must go and have a look at your friends blog…

    August 2, 2016
    • Hey Johnny, yes the tomatoes grew but the plant looks dead now even though there are still tomatoes on it. The zucchini unfortunately didn’t make it, both plants died a slow painful death. Thanks so much, love a good grilled cheese sandwich,

      August 2, 2016
  31. This bread looks amazing!!!

    August 2, 2016
  32. Love the bread Suzanne and the grilled sandwich too!!
    What I liked ghee best about the recipe was that the preferment was used in the main recipe 100%, without any discard. I am going to try this recipe without the bread flour..and see how it goes!

    August 2, 2016
    • I love using the preferment, it’s so easy to stir up and let it sit overnight and then the next day when it’s used in the dough it’s a quick rise with exceptional flavor. Thanks so much Sonal.

      August 3, 2016
  33. Love this rustic bread…I’ve yet to experiment with pre ferment as most often land up making quick rise bread…your post has now inspired me to give it a go:))

    August 2, 2016
    • Making the preferment the day before works so well and the next day your bread rises quickly and produces a wonderful loaf or loaves. Thanks so much.

      August 3, 2016
      • Thanks for that tip…will try it and let you know…

        August 3, 2016
  34. Suzanne, these breads make me hungry; I would love a beautiful bread like this for my breakfast. Just gorgeous! 🙂

    August 3, 2016
  35. Gorgeous bread and a fabulous sandwich…is there anything better than a grilled cheese sandwich???

    August 3, 2016
    • Thank you Elaine, I can’t think of anything more delicious than grilled cheese and add the vegetables makes it even better.

      August 3, 2016
  36. Ro #

    This looks fantastic. can’t wait to try!

    August 3, 2016
  37. Suzanne! You’ve got us all thinking about fall! And what a great bread recipe that produces so much beautiful sturdy bread! The grilled cheese sandwich looks delectable (it’s almost lunch time here!) and I can imagine all the other ways to use that bread–with a bright salad, a pot of soup, to sop up spaghetti sauce… What a delicious post! thanks friend. xo

    August 3, 2016
    • Thank you so much Rhonda, I wish sometimes I didn’t like bread so much. It’s my nemesis and I find it irresistible. Yes to all the uses, like bacon bread makes everything better.

      August 3, 2016
      • Agree– bread is m favorite “food group.! I’m visiting my daughter in Wisconsin and last night we walked to a bakery for the very best seedy sourdough whole wheat bread. It was exquisite with a big salad and a movie on the t.v. And your bread looks amazing! Happy baking –xox

        August 3, 2016
      • Sounds wonderful!!

        August 3, 2016
  38. Now that’s my kind of grilled cheese and with that amazing bread! Cheryl is wonderful and inspiring 😀 Delicious post Suzanne 😛

    August 4, 2016
  39. I keep meaning to make some bread – I just need some time to make it!

    August 4, 2016
    • Can’t wait for cooler weather I will be making a lot of bread!! Thank you Sarah😃

      August 4, 2016
  40. That sandwich is enticing! Nice recipe, Susan ♥

    summerdaisy.net

    August 4, 2016
  41. I haven’t made homemade bread in ages mainly because I can’t stop myself from eating it all. Your bread looks so amazing that I’m tempted to bake one. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    August 4, 2016
    • I have the same problem. I will eat it all especially when it’s warm and I can slather on the butter or dip in olive oil. I have to stop. Thanks so much.

      August 4, 2016
  42. Your bread looks very delicious Suzanne 🙂

    August 6, 2016
  43. This bread looks delicious. I love sourdough bread with generously added cumin seeds.

    August 7, 2016
  44. This bread & the bread rolls look fantastic & just awesome,…yay!
    That grilled cheese sandwich looks so tasty too,…I will make that this evening,..MMm!

    August 11, 2016
    • Grilled cheese is so good especially on homemade bread. I bet you have so many awesome vegetables to choose from your garden that you can add to the sandwich. Thank you so much.

      August 11, 2016
      • I made it & used thinly sliced courgettes, thinly sliced aubergine but fried them in some olive oil with freshly chopped rosemary. I used an aged compté cheese in here & used wholemeal spelt bread. It ws amazing! xxx

        August 12, 2016
      • I love Comte and in spelt bread it must have been wonderful! Thank you Sophie😃😃😃

        August 12, 2016
      • Ooh it truly was,…superb in flavour!

        August 12, 2016
  45. This looks delicious! When I’m back in my own kitchen you bet I’ll be making some of these. xx

    August 12, 2016

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