Monday, January 31, 2011
You can find Anna's recipe here!
I am starting the week with my best foot forward. Thank goodness I made Anna's Rustic No-Knead Artisan Bread last week or else I would have had a meltdown. I had so many things go wrong in the kitchen last week that it is nice that I have one success to share with you. Yes, I will also share my disasters with you but not today.
I want to start the week optimistically and how can you not be happy looking at this beautiful loaf of bread?! I will let you know that the day I made this was the day I also realized that my breadmaker might be dead. I could weep! But I am not going to, right? I am going to focus on the positive. Yeah, I am so good at that... <-----insert sarcastic tone. You can find Anna's recipe here.
I got out the hugest bowl in the world for making this bread. I do not like mess so in it I placed 3 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp yeast. I mixed it together with a wooden spoon.
I poured in 1 1/2 cup water. Now Anna does not indicate what the temperature should be so I added lukewarm water, just to be safe. I mixed it together with my wooden spoon until it just came together. I did have to add a lot of extra water though, Nova Scotia is so bloody dry in the winter!
The dough kind of came together so I stopped. No kneading, no work of any kind. I did move it to a smaller and cleaner bowl though and let it rise until the next day. Anna says it should have stringy texture and boy, did it ever! Make sure to cover with plastic wrap so it does not dry out.
Look at that giant bubble at the back!!! So cool. Man, baking can be such fun.
On a piece of floured parchment stretch the dough out until it is around 10" x 10". It will be sticky so flour your hands!
Pull the corners together and flip over. From here I also used my hands to make it more round. Wrap the parchment around the dough and cover with a clean tea towel and let rise two more hours. Yes, this recipe does take some time!
This is where I got into some trouble. I did not realize it require a cast iron Dutch oven until I got to this point. Yes, I am terrible at reading ahead, I know. I put my Paula Deen Casserole Dish in my oven and turned the temperature up to 400F, not 500F. I am pretty sure this dish can not handle such a high temperature but knew it could handle 400F.
When the oven was preheated I took the dish out of the oven, took off the lid and put the dough in folded sides up. Well that is what I was supposed to do but I can not tell if I did from this photo. I am pretty sure I did and then baked for 35 minutes (a little longer to make up for the lower temp). I removed the cover and baked at 350F for 15 more minutes.
Seriously, what a thing of beauty! And I did not have to hurt my hands to make it, I just had to wait FOREVER! Was it worth it? Absolutely!
This bread made amazing paninis like the chicken and Havarti photographed above and made some of the best toast I have ever had! The bread is filled with these bubbles and as a result reminded me of a crumpet when I had it for breakfast with my wild blueberry freezer jam.
I love it when a recipe is really worth either the time or the effort (or both). This loaf of bread really does look and taste like the kind you get at fancy bakeries. The crust has fabulous texture and the bread stunning flavour. I do not recommend it for garlic bread but for just about everything else, I bet it would be perfect. Anna, I give your recipe five out of five wooden spoons!