Thursday, April 5, 2012

Feeling (Un)kneaded

Every now and then I believe that a little indulgence is good for you.  It doesn't have to be big or expensive.  A chocolate bar (with no guilt attached), a new lipstick, or a latte from Starbucks.  I bought myself a little indulgence.  A 14-lb indulgence in the shape of a cast iron Dutch oven.  I know I mentioned it in a previous post and I'm sorry, but I'm still excited about it.  I can make so much in it:  soup, chili, stews, roast chicken, and the primary reason I bought it...bread.

I was having breakfast at a friend's last year and she brought out a homemade ciabatta that was outstanding.  I asked her about it, and she told me how easy it knead, bake it in a Dutch oven and there you go!  So, from that day on, acquiring a Dutch oven was in my plans.  I also checked into the no-knead bread baking and discovered Jim Lahey.  This is where I discovered how easy baking bread can be.  Past attempts have been okay, but fantastic.  You mix the ingredients in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and for at least 12 hours, let the yeast do its work.  It doesn't get easier than this.  I was so thrilled with the first attempt that I have two bowls sitting on the stove now, rising away, that will be bread by this evening.

May I make a suggestion?  Dig out the Dutch oven that you haven't used in ages, say 'thank you' to Jim Lahey, and bake bread.   Don't wait for it to cool and don't forget the butter, plenty of butter.

Click here for the link to Jim Lahey's recipe.

From a sticky, gooey, yeasty mess... deliciousness.

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