No-Knead Bread

No-Knead Bread

No Knead Bread

 

The smell of bread is intoxicating. The process of making bread by hand can be daunting. The yeast. The kneading. The waiting. I know I was hesitate to try working with yeast. In the past I haven’t had much success.

Since my bread maker died a couple of years ago, we had been buying LaBrea bread from the grocery store since we like good bread. And it is good bread though it has was becoming expensive to buy. I had a 50-mile roundtrip to buy the bread and it cost about $4.00 per loaf. Something had to change especially since I should be capable of making bread when I can make cakes, pies, and tarts.

So I’ve been making bread using this no-knead recipe for about six-months now and for the most part it is fail proof. The key to the success is the proofing process and a cast iron enameled Dutch oven.

I’ll be honest this method does take time so be prepared. Being that I run my business from home, I can be flexible in making this bread. For those without a flexible schedule this is a weekend endeavor. That all said, the process is worth it given the bread perfection at the end.

It is four ingredients: flour, yeast, salt, and water. That’s it. I use bread flour, but you can use all-purpose flour in a pinch. To make this really cost effective, I buy my bread flour in bulk from Sam’s Club and store it a big dog food container with a lid. I’ve lost track of how many loaves I’ve made with my 25 pound bag (cost about $9.00 at Sam’s) of flour and I’m not even half way yet.

Ready to make some bread?

No Knead Bread Recipe

Ingredients

 

No Knead Bread Recipe Ingredients

  • 6 cups of bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of yeast
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of table salt
  • 2 2/3 cups cool tap water

Preparation

 

No Knead Bread Dough

No Knead Bread 1st Proof

  • Place the first three ingredients in a mixing bowl. You can mix the dough by hand. I preferred to use a stand mixer with a dough attachment. Mix until blended.
  • Add the water mixing until a sticky dough forms. It may take awhile. You may have to add more flour or water depending on what is happening with the dough. Be very conservative when adding more flour or water.
  • Place dough in a large mixing bowl covering with cling wrap and let proof for 10-12 hours. Don’t worry about leaving it out. I place in on the stove top and have it sit there. Once it turns a little gray and bubblies then it is done and ready for the second proof.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured surfaced and knead into a ball with floured hands. Only do it two or three times.
  • Transfer with flour to parchment paper. I prefer to use parchment paper over a towel since the dough is less likely to stick to the paper then the towel. Seal up the paper and let the dough proof for another two hours.
  • Around 1 1/2 hours into the second proofing, place the Dutch oven in the oven and pre-heat the oven to 425F.
  • Take the Dutch oven out and roll the dough into it. Please be careful not to burn yourself. This bread will have character depending on how good (or bad) you are flipping it in there.
  • Place back into the oven with lid on and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and bake 10 minutes more.
  • Cool the bread completely. And I mean completely. Cutting the bread when it is warm is ruin the airy texture. Trust me the wait is worth it.

 

My bread schedule varies. What I mostly try to do is start the process first thing in the morning and by the evening I can bake bread then cool it by bedtime. Next morning we have fresh bread. The Dutch oven is perfect to keep the bread fresh.

 

Homemade Bread: Great Way to Start a Day

Homemade Bread: Great Way to Start a Day

Start the day with Homemade Bread!

There are some smells which evokes the feeling of home. Baking bread is one of those smells. For the longest time we had a bread maker. When our last bread maker died, we didn’t replace it. We just aren’t eating as much bread as we once were. I have to admit I miss having it. We not only made bread, but we also made pizza dough with the bread maker.

This post isn’t about bread makers. It is about bread. Let’s be honest it is really hard to find good bread in the US. And when you do then it is expensive. Sometimes a small loaf is over $4.00. But we pay it because we prefer crusty bread, which isn’t sweet.

There is something about fresh-made bread especially in the morning. So one Sunday morning I got up and decided I needed to make fresh bread for breakfast. I used a recipe a friend shared with me years ago called “Doris’ Easy Crusty Bread” which is a dense Cuban-style bread. It is noted that the recipe came from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads.

Make bread by hand can be time consuming and a workout, but it is well worth it. When I made my bread I started the process later than I would have liked. I made choice to make hard rolls in the end instead of a big loaf.

I cut rolls out with a pizza cutter and then slashed them in the middle.

Fresh out the oven, hot hard rolls for breakfast.

 

And the taste test… yum.

While this is a good recipe, I’m not a fan of the denseness. I like a crusty crust with an airy inside.

I’ll continue to use this recipe until I find an easy bread recipe which fits the bill.

Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins

There is something wonderful about banana muffins. To me they are an anytime food not just for breakfast. Pass on store bought ones. Homemade are the best. Basic ingredients that most of us have in our pantry: flour, butter, bananas, eggs, yogurt. I’ve been using Cooking Light’s Classic Banana Bread recipe from 2003 since 2003. Love it.

This time around I used bread flour and Greek pineapple yogurt. Instead of using a loaf pan, I made muffins. It was so good. Thumbs up.

Salt Lake City – A Foodie Town

Salt Lake City – A Foodie Town

Salt Lake City – A Foodie Town

I traveled to Salt Lake City to speak at the National Federation of Presswomen annual conference. I didn’t know much about Salt Lake City outside of the Winter Olympics and the Church of Latter-Day Saints. And to be honest, I didn’t really have any food expectations.
Salt Lake City is quite a foodie place. In fact, it was hard to select a place to eat due to the great selection. I had two meals outside of the conference. And I have to admit the meals at the Salt Lake Marriott City Center were very good. They served us three meals day of varied, tasty fare. They were very accommodating to those with special dietary needs and provided nice meals. As an aside, this was one of the nicest hotels I’ve stayed in years. It was amazing. The rooms were lovely; the bathroom was huge. It was spotless. The staff was outstanding and very attentive. If you travel to Salt Lake City, I’d really recommend it.

Where I ate…

Matine

Back to the food. On arriving, I joined a group of wonderful women from Virginia for dinner. We walked to the nearby tapas cafe bar, Martine. Felt like an old-school European cafe. They had a simple, fresh menu. The specials were outstanding. You could chose from tapas, small plates, entrees, or a three-course prix fixe menu. I chose off the tapas menu, so I could enjoy a couple different dishes.

I started with the Creminelli Salami and Local Cheese Plate. Delightful. Everything was local sourced. The salami was made a few blocks away. The cheeses were amazing. The crusty bread brought to the table by our very well-informed server, Sara, was perfect to enjoy this plate with. I would have been happy just eating this.

 

I then selected the Grilled Beef Tenderloin Tips with Tomato-Balsamic Vinaigrette and House
Garlic Chips. The flavors were amazing. The beef tenderloin was cooked perfectly. Moist and tender. The vinaigrette worked with the beef nicely.

I can’t say no to a nice dessert. And I have to love a place, which has a separate dessert menu. I chose the Chocolate Decadence with Palmier and Mascarpone Cream. This was a flour-less cake. I found the cake rich, but not overwhelming. It was the perfect balance to the tapas.

The portion sizes worked. Though afterwards I was actually full. It was a happy full. The prices I think were reasonable for the quality of the food.

 

Gourmandise

 

Before I speak I like to have a moment of quiet. So on the morning of my presentation, I sought a nice place to have breakfast… you know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It does set the tone. Off to wonder the streets in the early morning I went in search of the French bakery, Gourmandise. There is something special about cities early in the morning. There is a stillness. And there is nothing more fulfilling than being the first person at a bakery in the morning. All I have to say is wow. It was amazing. I don’t remember the last time I was in a proper bakery. This was a proper bakery of European standards. I think I could have spent all day working my way through the pastry cases. Yes, I wrote cases; I’ve only showed a quarter of them in the photo above right.

Fresh French-style breakfast rolls in Salt Lake City

The basket of fresh, warm crusty rolls called my name. It was served with real butter and a selection of jams. I asked for some cheese, which they gladly shared with me.

While I love my omelet breakfast (and frankly only; because, it is healthy helping me lose weight), I prefer this type of breakfast any day. Nothing beats crusty rolls with butter and cheese in my mind.

 

Salt Lake City serves up wonder European pastries

Unless we are talking about croissants. And this bakery had three types: regular, pain chocolate, and almond. It was a hard selection to make, but I went with almond. I was not disappointed. Perfection. Moist, flakey, and still warm from the oven.

Chai Latte perfection in Salt Lake City

Now I couldn’t just have any drink to wash down this wonderful breakfast. I went with the chai latte. It hit the spot. Tea with spices and warm milk. Delightful.

I was in heaven. And if I died right at the bakery, I would have died with a huge smile on my face.

I did indulge a bit on this trip, but that’s OK. I’m a food blogger. I had to have something to write about, right? Let’s just say I won’t be stepping on any scales right now.

All and all a very good foodie experience. Don’t be afraid to wander around a city looking for good food. It will make your visit more enjoyable. Food is an adventure. And can give you a sense of the city.

Pizza on the Grill

Pizza on the Grill

Impressive, isn’t it? It is a lot easier than you are imaging. Pizza on the grill is just plain wonderful. It has the best pizzerias beat. Hands down. Once you start, you won’t go back to frozen pizza or delivery pizza. 
We started making our own pizza on the grill the summer of 2008 after we got a  gas grill. We had just moved to Lexington, Kentucky, and hadn’t really found a good pizza place yet we craving good thin crusty pizza. We decided well if we can buy then let’s do it ourselves. As our guide we used Pizza on the Grill: 100 Feisty Fire-Roasted Recipes for Pizza & More. I did the all the prep work and Jeroen did the grilling.  
Recently we’ve gotten back into making pizza on the grill after about three years. And we’re back hooked.
Making pizza on the grill is simple, but there are some tips to make it successful:
The Dough. It is the foundation. Best is to make your own dough. I’ve found Trader Joe’s dough to be the best store-brought. This is when I miss having my bread maker to make my own dough. 
The Sauce. Again, making your own is ideal. I use crushed tomatoes with some garlic, salt, and pepper. Keeping it simple.
The Toppings. I use fresh Mozzarella cheese and add fresh veg or sausage from there.
The Grill. The temperature of the grill is key. Too hot and the crust will burn. This is where you know your grill and follow the directions in the cookbook to the letter regarding temperature settings and timing. Remember to oil the grill and the dough well. 
And now for some photos of the pizza making process… 

What’s your favorite pizza?

Pin It on Pinterest