Monday, December 9, 2013

Recipe Monday

See how I titled this post "Recipe Monday?" I don't even know if that's a thing anymore. But it is today because I was looking up recipes for something warm to make and found this from waaaaaaay back in 2010. It'll be just as good today, promise.

Bread.

I wish I could quit you.


But I can't. So I will make delicious bread, like this rustic loaf that will astonish you with it's perfect texture; chewy inside and a crispy crust.


And guess what? It's so easy a monkey could do it. For example, I have made it numerous times and it ALWAYS turns out. No kidding.


The only downfall is you need to begin making it the day before you need it. And you need a Dutch oven or pot with fitted lid that can go into a 450 degree oven.


So if you NEED bread NOW, you will have better chances with your bread machine or a quick trip to Safeway.

Although I have read about this super-easy no-knead bread for a few years, I had never made it until now. Maybe because I was enjoying my easy bake oven bread machine so much.


I got the recipe from The Steamy Kitchen, although there are hundreds of websites out there with this recipe, or one kinda like it. If you click on the link, you will be able to see pictures of this bread being created, step by step.


So, go on now. Make your family proud, happy and full. Make your house smell like fresh baking bread and cover up the scent of decomposing squirrel in your closet. But maybe that's just me.



Rustic, No-Knead Bread


So, let’s start. 3 cups of bread flour in a big bowl.


secret: I sometimes use 1/2c whole wheat flour + 2 1/2c bread flour. This is amazing!

1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast:


3/4 Tablespoon Kosher salt.


Add 1-1/2 cups of lukewarm water.


Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until everything is mixed together. Not too much, though!


Wrap up the no knead bread dough with plastic wrap. I just cover it in the bowl I mixed it in and leave it on the counter.


Give it a kiss good night and let the no knead bread dough sleep for 12-20 hours on counter or in a nice, warm, cozy place.


Next day:
Dump out on floured surface
Wet your hands. This will prevent the very sticky dough from sticking to your hands. If you find dough sticking to your hands, wet again. With wet hands, grab the dough and fold over all ends towards the middle. Turn dough blob over so that you get a nice, smooth, tight surface. Try to tuck the dough ends under to get that taut surface.
Gently move dough onto a floured towel.

Cover. Let nap for 2 hours. It should puff up nicely and double in size.


secret: When I run out of time, I sometimes let it sit only for 1 hour! If you let it nap in a tall, narrow bowl the dough rises nice and tall, about 6″ high.

If you leave it out on the counter – that is fine too, the dough will rise up and also out….making a flatter No Knead Bread loaf, about 3″-4″ high.They will both taste the same, just looks a little different.


A half hour before the nap ends, slip covered pot into your oven. Crank up the heat to 450F. Let it pre-heat for 30 minutes or longer.


After pre-heating, remove the hot pot from oven. Now plop this wobbly dough into the hot pot. Doesn’t matter how it lands – actually, the messier it lands, the more “rustic” it looks. Shake pot a bit to even out the dough.

Cover and put back into the oven. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Photo below is peeking through oven door after 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake further for 15-20 minutes. To check – you can either tap the bread (should sound low, hollow, like a drum) or take its temperature (should be 210F in middle).

That's it! You will be rewarded with a thin, crunchy brown crust, large, open holes. The bread is slightly chewy, flavorful and perfect texture.

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