Monday, April 26, 2010
I'm in love...... with No Knead Bread!
This past week, during my "spare time" (ha! read that as "stress relief" time) I decided to do something I've wanted to do for a long time - bake some homemade bread. Homemade, handmade - without using a bread maker. I recently gave away my bread maker anyway.
I first made a loaf of Whole Wheat bread in the traditional way. You know, knead it for 10 - 15 minutes (what a workout for my poor wrists!), let it rise, punch it down, let it rise again, then shape and bake. It was really good and we liked it. This is the second (oblong) loaf pictured.
But then I found an article about No Knead Bread as baked by Chef Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery in New York. And, oh my, what heavenly bread! ( top photo - the round loaf). We more than liked it.... we loved it! If you like a crusty bread this is the one for you. (If you like a softer bread, after it's cooled store it in a plastic bag and it won't retain such a crispy crust). It's SO simple to make... and there really is no kneading (stir to mix, a couple of folds, one quick shaping and that's all). Instead of your hands doing the work, time does the work instead. You mix it up and let it sit for 18-24 hours and, according to Lahey, the long slow rise time is the secret to this artisan bread. It has the most wonderful crust and a great texture inside with all these irregular shaped holes. Slather some healthy butter substitute on it and top with raspberry jam... oh me! Or drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic powder and toast...... mmmm! If you decide to give it a try and, like me, you only have access to "down home" grocery stores, Rapid Rise yeast by Fleischmans is the same as instant yeast.
I've also started an oil painting. It's 16 x 20 and the subject is a lighthouse in Maine (photo from a vacation... can't remember the name of the lighthouse). I'm posting the first WIP. Now, if Laure from Painted Thoughts Blog will stop posting tempting tidbits and examples about the luscious Daniel Smith watercolors she's using (thus drawing my easily-led attention away from my oil paints) I might be able to make some progress on it! ;-)