Monday, January 08, 2007

Recipe 14: No Knead Bread

OK! New Years Resolution #1: Post more entries to our blog! I promise to do better in 2007. I must apologize for the past few months. I wanted so badly to post some cute holiday recipes for our next recipe, but the horrible storm that we had left us without cable and high speed for the last half of December. I also had this nutty idea of taking a retail job over the holidays in a cute kitchen store close to me....being 5 mos. prego don't know if that was the best idea or not. I've learned a ton from working in the store, but seemed to lose all my free time during the holidays. The biggest buzz in the store over the holidays were dutch ovens and the recipe that appeared in the NY Times on the "No Knead Bread", which is actually cooked in a dutch oven. You would not believe the number of people who came in looking for new/oddly shaped dutch ovens to expand their bread making abilities. Apparently, it makes a terrific crust/crumb and requires little effort. I love making bread, but so rarely seem to feel like I have enough time. So, let's give this recipe a try. I should have time to make it this week sometime. It apparently adapts well using other flours such as rye and whole wheat as well. Looking forward to the results!

Recipe: No-Knead Bread
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street BakeryTime: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed
1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Lacey Oatmeal Raisin

Trying to find a recipe for a super thin crispy crunchy oatmeal cookie like a lace cookie, I came up with nothing. Since I couldn't find one, I decided to combine 2 recipes out of Fannie Farmer's Baking Book. I was very nervous when I first saw the result from the oven...they spread super thin and one cookie into the next. Once it cooled, the huge ugly mass of cookie on the baking sheet actually turned out exactly the way I hoped. So the second batch, I only put 4 cookies on the baking sheet to allow them enough space to spread as well as paitiently waiting for not only the edge but the center of each cookie to brown to a golden prefection.

2 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups oatmeal
3/4 cup raisins

Cream the butter and sugars. Add the remaining wet ingredients. Combine the dry ingredients. Mix the wet with the dry ingredients. The cookies spread so I would not try to put more than 4 or 5 scoops of cookie dough on each baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for 13-16 min until golden brown. Do not remove from the baking sheet until completely cooled. They will look weird but once it cools its super crispy and perfect with a cup of tea.