Monday, March 1, 2010

Pucker Up!

I don't have classes on Fridays so I try and make myself useful by catching up on housework and homework. That stuff is pretty boring so I usually end up trying to cook or bake something. This week it turned out pretty good (not always the case with new recipes). So pucker up because these recipes are sweet!!

Artisan Almost No-Knead Bread:
from the America's Test Kitchen Episode: Bread Making Simplified

An enameled cast-iron Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid yields best results, but the recipe also works in a regular cast-iron Dutch oven or heavy stockpot. (See the related information in "High-Heat Baking in a Dutch Oven" for information on converting Dutch oven handles to work safely in a hot oven.) Use a mild-flavored lager, such as Budweiser (mild non-alcoholic lager also works - AS DOES CARBONATED WATER). The bread is best eaten the day it is baked but can be wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in a cool, dry place for up to 2 days.

Makes 1 large round loaf
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (15 ounces), plus additional for dusting work surface
1/4 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water (7 ounces), at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mild-flavored lager (3 ounces) OR CARBONATED WATER! :)
1 tablespoon white vinegar

1. Whisk flour, yeast, and salt in large bowl. Add water, beer, and vinegar. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.

2. Lay 12- by 18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside 10-inch skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to parchment-lined skillet and spray surface of dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.

3. About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour top of dough and, using razor blade or sharp knife, make one 6-inch-long, 1/2-inch-deep slit along top of dough. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.

Lemonade Mix:

We were fortunate to receive some delicious lemons from some friends of ours who have a tree.
1 and 1/2 Cups boiling water
1 and 1/2 Cups sugar (dissolved in water)
1 and 1/2 Cups fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Combine all in mason jar. Allow to cool. 1/4 cup of lemonade mix can be poured into an individual glass and the rest filled with water OR use 1/2 of jar to make a pitcher full of lemonade.


Chad and Clair said...

These both look like good recipes! Definitely want to try the bread! Could you do it without a dutch oven?

Sharee and Arthur said...

Wow, Amber, that bread looks completely professional! Good job!