Monday, September 24, 2012

I love this No Knead bread

Now that summer has been slowly receding, I've been back into making bread.  Unfortunately, I think I neglected my sourdough starter and it's not quite the same, even though I've been baking it in my dutch oven--which makes the most beautiful crust.  But I still haven't been getting the chewy holey-ness inside.  I would probably fault my crappy kneading skills, though a friend's mom said I need to get a standing mixer with a kneading paddle.

So then I thought about the original No Knead bread recipe that Linda originally posted about and thought I'd give it a try since kneading dough is not my friend and it was only reaching 80 today--brrrr!  Get the oven on!

The ingredients are pretty simple:

Dissolve 1/4 tsp of active dry yeast in 1 1/2 cups of warm water.  Stir in 3 cups of all purpose flour and 1 1/2 tsp salt until blended.  It'll be sticky and pretty slack.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest at least 8 hours (up to 18 hours) at room temperature.  The recipe says room temperature is about 70 degrees but my a/c thermostat is set at 78 but it seems it was all right.  The dough is ready when the surface is dotted with bubbles:

Then you flour the work surface and scrape the dough on it.  Sprinkle the dough lightly with flour and fold it over on itself a couple of times:

Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.  Using enough flour to keep dough from sticking to your hands and work surface, form into a ball.  Then generously coat a dish towel with flour and put the dough ball, seam side down on it.  I didn't have a clean dish towel, so I used parchment paper:

Then dust with more flour and cover with another clean dish towel.  Let rise for 1-2 hours until doubles in size and dough doesn't spring back when you poke it.  I couldn't help but notice that it doubled out but not up.  I wonder if using a dish towel would have been more grippy, allowing less slide of dough out.

Put dutch oven in the oven and preheat to 475 degrees about 20 minutes.  Flip dough into the hot dutch oven, ostensibly seam side up, though mine didn't have much of a seam.  Is it because I didn't use a dish towel?  I'll have to test that out.

Bake 30 minutes with lid on, the 15 minutes more with the lid off.  There's that golden brown crust:

And more so, that chewy, holey inside:

The girl and I ate half the loaf in one sitting. She loved it. I would have loved it more if it was more taller and loafy instead of such a wide, flatter boule. Hope using the dish towel works during the second rise helps. Also, I'm wondering if I could add sourdough starter to this somehow? Anybody know breadmaking science a lot more than me and have advice?

Anyhoo, I highly recommend this bread--if you've got a Dutch Oven, it won't disappoint. It's cheap and easy (NO KNEADING!) and the result is virtually artisan bread!

UPDATE: Yes, using a dish towel (instead of parchment paper) made a huge difference:

It definitely rose more "up" than out.

There's the big beautiful boule I wanted!

Gorgeous.  Sigh.

Here's a little side by side comparison:

Definitely a favorite.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Vegan Gluten-free Doughnuts

After tasting the goodies at BabyCakes last spring, I picked up Babycakes Covers the Classics and tried my hand at making their vegan, gluten-free donuts at home after the girl had some friends sleepover:

Holy cow, they rocked! The girls loved them. Just as good as the doughnuts I made last spring--couldn't even tell they were vegan and gluten-free.  I can't wait to make these for my wheat-allergic nephew!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sauces for Salad rolls

After making salad rolls for my mom, I got pretty addicted to them myself. It's a delicious way to get salad, avocado, and tofu together in one bite:

Especially when I can mix up some quick sauces for dipping!  Here are three I'm currently rotating.  I came up with a quick peanut hoison sauce:

Mix together:
- 1 tbsp of Peanut Butter
- 1 tsp of vinegar (I used rice vinegar)
- 1/4 tsp of soy sauce or tamari or aminos
- 2 tsp of hoison sauce
- 1/4 tsp of garlic chili sauce (or 1/4 tsp of hot sauce and dash of garlic powder)

These are definitely not etched-in-stone quantities, play around to your liking, but you'll want a creamy sauce with good "cling".

Peanut Hoison sauce: Sweet and spicy

For times I prefer a non-creamy sauce, especially when I use a lot of avocado, I make a quick chili vinaigrette:

Mix together:
- 1 tbsp vinegar (I used rice vinegar)
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp chili garlic sauce (or hot sauce and garlic powder combo)
- 1/2 tsp sugar (you can use equivalent of sugar substitute)
- splash of soy sauce or tamari or aminos
- generous squirt of fresh lime or lemon

Again, I suggest adjusting the amounts per personal taste. This vinaigrette doesn't have as much cling, but it still packs a punch:

Chili Vinaigrette: Bright and Spicy

And my new favorite, Lemon Tahini sauce:

Mix together:
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1/2 tbsp of vinegar (I used rice vinegar)
- 1/2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp soy sauce or tamari or aminos
- generous dashes of garlic powder
- dash of hot sauce

Again, adjust quantities per personal taste--most of the time I'm just throwing stuff together and hope I get a tasty clingy sauce:

Lemon Tahini: Bright and Tart

Anybody got any other sauce suggestions?