3/16/11

No Knead, Dutch Oven Bread


Last week my Father-in-law asked if I would be interested in trying a new bread recipe. He explained that there was no kneading involved and only a few ingredients, but it has to sit for 12-18 hours. He brought over a magazine and showed me the recipe. I was amazed to see that this bread only had 4 ingredients: Yeast, water, flower and salt. So, I told him I'd make it and went home and mixed up the dough.
The next evening we baked the bread. When it was ready to cut everyone had a slice, then another, then another, until there was no more bread.
I have been looking for a nice crusty bread with a chewy center, and I think I've finally found it (Thanks to my FIL). Since our first loaf, I think my FIL and I combined have made close to 12 loaves, if not more.

This is such an easy bread to make, the only thing is waiting 12-18 hours. Once you're out of this bread you wish you had made 2 loaves. :)

On Sunday my hubby and I were looking for a late night treat. I had the idea of sandwiches. So we pulled out our bread and made some sandwiches. Oh My!! They were good! My hubby even said 'These were the best sandwiches I've ever had.' And just an FYI, my husband is not a sandwich guy.

The long, knead free fermentation process allows the dough to develop the good flavor for this yummy bread. And when you cook it you cook it in a dutch oven or a heavy covered pot. By covering the dish it helps creates the humid conditions needed for a crisp crust.
My father-in-law uses his camping Dutch oven for this bread. I use our 'heart shaped' (yes, heart shaped; a wedding gift, we were married Feb. 13th) Le Creuset dutch oven. I'm hoping to buy a normal round dutch oven since I'll be making this bread quite often. But if you don't have a fancy dutch oven, no worries, it says any 6-8 quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) will work.

I promise you this bread will not disappoint. And don't be afraid to give it a try. I am in no way a professional baker, and this bread turns out great for me every time. So give it a try and let me know what you think.

Enjoy!!



No Knead, Dutch Oven Bread
From: Mother Earth News (Dec. 07/Jan. 08); adapted from The New York Times

¼ tsp. active dry yeast

1 ½ C. warm water
3 C. all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting. You may use white, whole wheat or a combination of the two.
1 ½ tsp. Salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran for dusting

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the flour and salt, stirring until well blended. The dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at least 8 hours, preferable 12-18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
The 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 it rest for about 15 minutes.
Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface or to your fingers, gently shape it into a ball. Generously coat a clean dish towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal. Put the seam side of the dough down on the towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another towel and let raise for about 1 to 2 hours. When it’s ready, the dough will have doubled in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
At least 20 minutes before the dough is ready, heat your oven to 475 degrees. Put a 6 to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven and lift off the lid. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. The dough will lose its shape a bit in the process, but that’s OK. Give the pan a firm shake or two to help distribute the dough evenly, but don’t worry if it’s not perfect; it will straighten out as it bakes.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and let it cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Yield: One 1 ½ -pound loaf.

3/15/11

Angel Food Cake with Pineapple Whip

Today I am sharing a delicious dessert that I found on a food blog that I read often. It's the perfect spring/summer time dessert. And right now, as I look out our window (at the snow, blah) I am in need of some 'Spring' in my life. :)
I am so ready for the snow to be gone and for the weather to warm up. But until then I'll just eat this cake, close my eyes and imagine that it's Spring outside. haha

You cannot look at this picture and not tell me that it looks delicious! But not only does it look delicious it TASTES delicious too!

This recipe comes from Favorite Family Recipes, a great food blog that you should really take a look at. I was over there the other day looking through all their yummy recipes and came across this one. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make it. So I added it to our menu and made plans to make it.

I made this on Sunday and everyone loved it! Even my cake hating husband like this cake, so that should say enough right there. The pineapple whip with the angel food cake was amazing and topped with fruit is even yummier!
I was going to serve it with strawberries only and then remembered that someone just gave us some kiwi. I'm glad they did, because the kiwi and strawberry were a great combo for this cake.

Alright, I've said enough. You need to get baking and try this cake, seriously!!
Enjoy!!



Angel Food Cake with Pineapple Whip

1 box angel food cake, prepared in bundt pan (Boxed or from Scratch- I was lazy & used a cake mix)
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 (15oz) can crushed pineapple
1 small box vanilla pudding mix
strawberries, sliced (or any other fruit you like)

Prepare angel food cake.
While cake is baking, whip heavy cream with electric mixer until peaks form. Add vanilla and sugar, and set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine crushed pineapple with pudding powder and stir well. Combine pineapple mixture with whipped cream using a large spoon or spatula until well mixed.
You can either frost the entire cake with the pineapple whip or serve on individual plates, topping with the whip. Either way is great. Top with sliced strawberries or any other fresh fruit.

3/9/11

English Muffins

It has been a while, a long while, since I have posted any new recipes. We sold our home last fall and spent much of November and December moving out of our home...into a relatives home..and then finally into our new, old home. Our new home is an older home that needs updating so I have spent the last 2 months updating the paint, doors, trim, window covering, lighting, etc. As you can see, I have a really good excuse as to why I havent posted anything. Things are slowing down a bit so hopefully I can start posting again.

While my husband and most of our children love cold cereal, our oldest does not. He likes breakfast sandwiches, breads with jam or pancakes or waffles for breakfast. Last summer when we visited Sheena she made egg & Canadian bacon sandwiches on English muffins. We really liked them but I havent made them too often because 1) I am really not a fan of store bought breads (homemade breads are so much tastier and have a better texture) and 2) English muffins can be kind of expensive (1 package doesn't go very far when you are feeding 6 hungry people). Tyler's new school starts at 7:30am!! I do not like getting up at 6 am to make breakfast so I had to find things that he could warm up and eat quickly. We make other breakfast sandwiches on biscuits but the Canadian bacon sandwiches on English muffins were a little different.


I found the following recipe at shesimmers.com. I believe the recipe originally came from Alton Brown. Shesimmers explains that she has looked for years for a good english muffin recipe that has lots of nooks and crannies. She said that most recipes she came across required the baker to roll our the dough and then cut out the muffins with a biscuit cutter. She said those recipes never had enough nooks and crannies. When she came across this recipe she knew it would turn out better. I also found lots of recipes in cookbooks and online and most, if not all, required you to roll out the dough. I have made this recipe several times and we really like it. I like the muffins better after they have cooled so I usually make it the night before and then we eat them for breakfast or make pizzas out of them for lunch.



English Muffins

½ cup non-fat powdered milk
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp shortening
1 cup hot water
1 envelope dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp)
1/8 tsp sugar
1/3 warm water
2 cups flour, sifted
Metal muffin rings

In a bowl combine the powdered milk, 1 tbsp sugar, ½ tsp salt, 1 tbsp shortening, and hot water. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Let cool.

In a separate bowl, combine the yeast and the 1/8 tsp of sugar in 1/3 cup warm water. Let rest until the yeast is dissolved.

Add the yeast mixture to the milk mixture. Add the sifted flour and beat thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Cover the bowl and let rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.

Preheat griddle to 300 degrees.

Add the remaining ½ tsp salt to mixture and beat thoroughly.

Place the metal rings onto the griddle and coat lightly with cooking spray. Use an ice cream scoop to place the dough into the rings. Cover with a pot lid or a cookie sheet and cook for 5-6 minutes.

Remove the lid and flip the rings using tongs. Cover with the lid and cook for another 5-6 minutes or until golden brown.

Place on a cooling rack, remove the rings and cool.

[The original recipe says to use a #20 ice cream scoop and put 2 scoops into each ring. I have a pampered chef dough scoop –it is the medium scoop- and I put about 1 ½ scoops into the rings. The first time you make it I would just experiment to see how much dough you should put in.]


[For the metal rings, the original recipe says you could use tuna cans with the tops and bottoms removed. I tried to find tuna cans that would work but I cant find any that have a bottom that can be removed so I have been using small pineapple cans with the tops and bottoms removed. They are a bit taller than needed but when I flip the muffins I just push the muffins to the bottom so they touch the griddle.]