02-08 Glorious Gastronomic Gifts

It's all about bread today. On the show I'm making a delicious Italian bread and tasty herbed butter to go with it. These can be combined as a delightful gift from you kitchen. 

For the bread you'll need: 
1 package active dry yeast
1 ½ tsp sugar
½ cup warm water
1/3 cup hot water
3 Tbs. butter
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour 
Start by combining the yeast, sugar and warm water in a bowl and stirring until smooth. Then combine the hot water with the butter and stir until melted, then add the salt. Put the butter mixture in with the yeast mixture and begin adding your flour. Add it by degrees until the dough begins to come away from the sides of the bowl. You're then ready for kneading. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it for about 10 minutes or until the dough responds to your touch by springing back when you poke it. Now we baked ours in a tubular pan which required us to flatten out the dough and then roll it into a log. You can repeat that technique and then bake it on a cookie sheet or bake it in a loaf pan. Either way you'll want the dough to rise in a warm draft free place until it's doubled in size - about 1 ½  to 2 hours. Bake it in 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake for an additional 35 minutes. Remove bread to a rack to cool. 
For the butter you'll need: 
One stick of butter, softened
Juice of one lemon
Two tablespoons of chopped chives 
Place all ingredients in a bowl and combine well with a fork. Remove to a sheet of wax paper and form into a log. Twist the ends of the wax paper and place in the fridge to firm up.  

These recipes are just delicious together and, as I said above, make a lovely gift when combined in a basket. 

Be sure and include a card with the recipe, the recipient will undoubtedly want some more!