Archive for May 23rd, 2007

Bread Update

[UPDATE:  I have added some photos of the no-knead bread method here.] 

The loaf of NO-KNEAD bread that I baked today was partly whole wheat. I used only 1/2 c. whole wheat flour, 1/2 c. Artisan’s bread flour, and 2 c. unbleached bread flour. I put no seeds on the outside crust, baked it in my oval 3 qt. Corningware casserole and it turned out beautifully.

I had some with my lunch with a little butter. Very good. Just enough whole wheat flour for good color but not so much that it was bland and dry. Try it. Here is a repeat of the basic recipe.

No-Knead Bread

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting (or 2 1/2 c. flour, and 1/2 c. whole wheat flour)
1/4 t. instant yeast (yes, one-fourth teaspoon)
1 1/4 t. salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 c. water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6-to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) on oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is OK; shake pan once or twice if the dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

A dough scraper or metal “hamburger” flipper makes folding the dough over on itself easy. The dough is very wet, and looks like it won’t hold together. It does.

Read Full Post »

The official name of this recipe, from Epicurious.com, is Chicken Paillards with Tomato, Basil and Roasted-Corn Relish. Too long a name for me. I will think of a decent name for it later. In the meantime, it’s Delish Chick.

The recipe calls for roasting fresh corn kernels in a 375 degree oven for 18 minutes. I didn’t bother. The house was hot enough and so was I. Because I had no fresh corn, I used canned white shoepeg corn, drained. I didn’t cook it at all. If you want to follow the recipe exactly, go ahead. I probably will try it someday. Let me tell you, it was very good without the extra step of roasting the corn. I wonder if I can get an energy credit for not using the oven. Somebody call Al Gore.

Simple in preparation, my variation is a perfect last minute entree for a busy day. It has meat and two vegetables in the main course. All that’s needed is a salad, fruit, bread or pasta of some kind, and you’re good to go. I fixed a quick tossed salad (just lettuce and dressing) and some rice and dinner was on the table in about 15 minutes.

Here’s the recipe for the chicken.

Delish Chick – Serves 4

3 T. olive oil, divided
1 1/2 c. fresh corn kernels
12 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 c. chopped green onions
3 T. finely sliced fresh basil (I just rough chopped it)

4 skinless chicken breast halves, tenderloins removed, pounded evenly to about 1/2″ thickness
1 1/2 T. butter
1 1/2 T. olive oil
Salt and pepper

For relish: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush rimmed baking sheet with 1 t. oil. Toss corn and 2 t. oil on the prepared sheet. Roast until the corn begins to brown, stirring occasionally, about 18 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Mix in tomatoes, green onions, basil, and 2 T. oil; season with salt and pepper.

For chicken: Pat chicken dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then dust with flour to coat. Melt butter with oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet and saute until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plates; top with relish and serve.

Read Full Post »