Fast No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

Fast No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

 

I’ve wanted a grain mill for a long time. This Christmas my husband finally bought me one – thank you, Hon! The mill, made in Germany, is called the Fidibus Classic.

I wasn’t sure how often I’d use a mill, although I had read enough about how nutritious freshly milled grains were that I thought it would be a smart purchase. Well, I don’t use my mill every single day, but I do use it often enough that I feel good about the purchase (it wasn’t cheap).

To use the mill, you just pour in whatever grain you have, turn on the machine, and out comes freshly ground whatever. There’s something so wholesome and, literally speaking, warming to the soul, about the whole thing.

I’ve been making a lot of bread lately and discovered a recipe I love that is simple and takes almost no time to put together. The recipe uses a few types of flour, but what I like about it is that the types of flour you use can be varied. I’ve used rye flour, buckwheat, and spelt, along with the base of the whole wheat flour; I think my favorite is the spelt with the whole wheat.

Thanks to Mark Bittman, who first published this recipe in the New York Times. 

Fast No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread 

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup whole rye flour

1/2 cup coarse cornmeal

1 teaspoon instant yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Oil as needed.

1. Combine flours, cornmeal, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest about 4 hours at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Oil a standard loaf pan (8 or 9 inches by 4 inches; nonstick works well). Lightly oil your hands and shape dough into a rough rectangle. Put it in pan, pressing it out to the edges. Brush top with a little more oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 1 hour more.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake bread about 45 minutes, or until loaf reaches an internal temperature of 210 degrees. Remove bread from pan and cool on a rack.

Yield: 1 loaf.

Note: If you want to use different types of flours, you can, but keep in at least 2 cups whole wheat flour.

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February 19, 2009. Breads. Leave a comment.

Swedish Visiting Cake

Swedish Visiting Cake

 

I just discovered a website that posts maps in parts of LA where you can find fruit trees that overhang public property (http://www.fallenfruit.org/). Apparently it’s legal to pick fruit from these trees.  Who knew?  I really like the idea of picking fruit from neighborhood trees, not to save money, but because I like the idea of getting food from a local source.  

We have a small Meyer lemon tree in our backyard and although I don’t often get fruit from it, when I do, there’s something so nice about getting it from home and not having to go out and buy it. 

I though I’d post a recipe for Swedish Visiting Cake (by well-known cookbook author Dorie Greenspan) because it uses a lemon, it’s very easy to make, and it’s quite delicious. 

Swedish Visiting Cake (adapted from Baking, From My Home to Yours)

Makes 8 to 10 servings

1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

About 1/4 cup sliced almonds (blanched or not)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a seasoned 9-inch cast-iron skillet or other heavy ovenproof skillet, a 9-inch cake pan or even a pie pan.

Pour the sugar into a medium bowl.  Add the zest and blend the zest and sugar together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic.  Whisk in the eggs one at a time until well blended.  Whisk in the salt and the extracts.  Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the flour.  Finally, fold in the melted butter.

Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.  Scatter the sliced almonds over the top and sprinkle with a little sugar.  If you’re using a cake or pie pan, place the pan on a baking sheet.

Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is golden and a little crisp on the outside; the inside will remain moist.  Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a thin knife around the sides and bottom of the cake to loosen it.  You can serve the cake warm or cooled, directly from the skillet or turned out onto a serving plate.

February 17, 2009. Cakes. Leave a comment.

Hello everyone!

Welcome to my blog.  Hope you enjoy my recipes!

February 16, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup

 

It’s raining and two of my kids have a cold so it’s time to make chicken soup. Luckily I have some chicken in the fridge, along with some onions, parsley, carrots, and celery. 

If you haven’t made chicken soup before, trust me – it’s super-easy to make. Just be sure to start the soup early in the day so it has time to develop good flavor.  I cook mine for a good 4-12 hours.

Chicken Soup

3-6 lb. chicken parts (breasts, wings, legs, thighs, backs, necks, feet, whatever you’ve got)
3 -5 celery stalks, cut up in 1/2″ pieces, along with some celery leaves 
2-4  medium carrots, cut up in 1/2″ pieces
1 to 2 onions, cut in quarters
A small handful of parsley
1/2 tsp. or more peppercorns
3-6 whole cloves
1-2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme, optional
Salt to taste (probably at least a tablespoon) 

Put chicken parts in a large pot.  Add enough cold water so the water level is about an inch or so above the chicken.  Add veggies and spices.  Slowly bring to a boil.  Skim off the gray stuff when it appears (scum – yucky word, isn’t it?).  Simmer for at least 3 hours or more – the longer the better. If you like, you can take out the chicken after an hour or two, pick off the meat, and throw the bones and skin back in the pot.  This way you have some nice chicken to add to the soup later on.  When done, taste and make sure there is enough salt, and then strain the soup.  I usually let it sit for 5 minutes and then skim off the fat (or you can refrigerate the broth and take the fat off then).

Good with matzo balls or noodles.  

Makes however many cups of water you add, minus a cup or two (depending on the length of time you cook the soup).

February 16, 2009. Soups. 3 comments.