Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mana from Heaven

Bread is the very substance of our human life, the foundation of all civilization.

Every culture does it a little differently.

There is naan bread from the india, pita from the middle east, the tortilla  south of the boarder.  All variations on one theme.

Wherever it is from and whom ever makes it,  I love it.  Unless it is rye bread and then I can't stand it even for a Ruben Sandwich, and I love rubens!

Every other kind of bread I love.

And pasta for that matter.  Give me a carb and I am a happy woman.

I have recently fallen in love with No Knead Bread, a trend that is sweeping the nation...for us foodies that is.

It is a miraculous thing this No Knead Bread.

I have taken to making it with rasins and walnuts using whole wheat.  And I don't knead it, ever!

It is so easy, anyone can do it.

All you need is:

3 Cups flour-I mix it up with adding whole wheat flour sometimes, especially when I use walnuts and     rasins
1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 2/3 cups water
Cornmeal or flour for dusting
***Any add in you want; walnuts and raisins, olives, roasted garlic, rosemary, black pepper, jalapenos...

You will also need a bowl, plasitic wrap, a non-terry cloth dish towel and a cast iron or glass dutch oven,      a heavy oven safe dish with a tight fitting lid.

Start by stirring together flour, yeast, salt and any of your accouterments together in a large bowl.

Pour in water and stir until a ragged dough forms, this will not take very long at all.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let is sit at room temperature for 12-18 hours.

The dough will rise and be a bubbly wet dough.

Dust one side of a dish towel with flour or cornmeal, turn out dough onto towel.  Let it rest for 15 min.

Form dough into ball with your hands and place seam side down on the towel.  Sprinkle the dough with more flour or cornmeal and cover with the other side of the dish towel.
Seam side us up here.

Let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours.

Half an hour before your dough is finished rising, heat your oven with your oven proof lidded dish in it @ 450 degrees. (oven and pan should preheat for half an hour.)

Two different dutch ovens...both work, as would a glass casserole dish with a lid.

Carefully remove pan from oven and turn out dough seam side up into the pan and cover with lid.  Place back in the oven and bake for 20 min.  Remove lid and bake another 15-25 minutes till crust is brown.

This is all white flour with roasted garlic.

Remove from oven and cool bread on a wire wrack.  Leave it too cool as long as possible before cutting into it.

I could make one of these every day my family eats it so fast.

I hope you try this will feel like a real rock star when you see that bread come out of the oven!  I feel like that every time without fail.

Walnut Rasin-2 Cups all purpose flour, 1 Cup whole wheat.  It is outrageous toasted with a little butter and jam, or no jam at all.

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