A cooking and baking journal

St. Joseph's Day Bread

2/01/09: Italian Tomato-Herb Chicken and St. Joseph's Day Bread
  • Sources: The Woman's Day Cook Book for the chicken and A Catholic Calendar of Culinary Customs for the bread.
  • Defining moments: Breading chicken and making a gigantic loaf of bread.
  • What I learned: I learned, first and foremost, that I shouldn't whack my head against the wall just because my yeast doesn't activate. My goodness, worst things can happen, right? So just throw out the first batch and start again. I later discovered (after my mom calmed me down a bit and explained, once again, the necessary water temperature), that the water needs to be no lower than 115 and no higher than 130 degrees. I originally thought that I shouldn't go beyond 120 and should try to stay at 115. So in a nutshell, my water was too cool. My second attempt, however, proved to be successful.
  • I also learned that breading chicken is not an easy thing to do. I tried it out and unfortunately almost all of my bread crumb coating fell off once the chicken touched the hot skillet. I later asked Annemarie what is the cause of this and she said that I have to use a egg wash next time. Dip the chicken in the egg, then the bread crumbs, back into the egg, then finally into the skillet. The egg makes the crumbs adhere better and her family has been using this method for, um, forever so it is fool proof from the sounds of it. I'll have to try it next time.
  • How it tasted: The chicken was accepted but I didn't get any big cheers, but then again maybe the chicken horrays were drowned out by the St. Joseph's Day Bread applaud. Everyone "loved" the bread so that made the yeast episode an event of long ago.
  • How about a 2nd time? Definitely yes for the bread.

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