Saturday, April 30, 2011

No Knead Bread and chicken Soup

This bread recipe goes against every bread making rule that I have ever learned. It's so easy to make a that even a monkey could do it.

No-Knead Bread

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (not a typo, strange I know)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt (that's a lot of salt, I reduced this amount a lot and the bread tasted fine)
1 and 1/2 cups of water
A big heavy lidded pot (cast iron or dutch oven).
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed (I used cornmeal).

1. Mix all of the ingredients (except for the cornmeal) together. That's it! It makes a really gloppy, sticky mess and you will think there's no way you've done this step right. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit there for 12-20 hours. (Note: do this step before going to bed if you want bread for supper.)

2. With floured hands shape the dough into a ball shape and let it rest for 2 hours on a floured dish cloth (not a terry cloth, the dough will stick). My dough wasn't overly sticky so I used a bit of cornmeal instead and it didn't stick to the dish cloth.

3. Preheat your oven to 450 F. Put the dutch oven in the hot oven to preheat.

4. When the dutch oven is hot, dust the bottom with some cornmeal or wheat bran and plop the dough on top of it. I also scored my bread because I can't help myself, but you don't have to do this. Put the lid back on and bake for 30 minutes on 450F. Then remove the lid and continue to bake for another 15- 20 mins (it was less than 15 mins for me.)

5. The end result. The bread is crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.

Chicken Soup

1 whole chicken
bay leaves
pot herbs
salt and pepper
frozen or fresh peas

Put a whole chicken in a pot with some celery stocks, carrots, garlic, onions and salt and pepper. Cover with water and boil the chicken until it is cooked and remove it from the pot. Place the stock in the fridge over night and in the morning remove the layer or partially remove the layer of fat that has risen to the top. Fat does add flavor but if you are watching your fat intake, you may want remove this layer. Put the pot of the stove to boil and add some chopped carrots, celery and rice. Add in some salt and pepper to taste. My little secret is that I add in some tumeric to give the soup color. I don't like using bullion but I don't want my soup to look like ditch water either. The tumeric adds the color you like to see but without the artificial coloring and flavoring found in the bullion. Tumeric has numerous health benefits as well. Simmer with bay leaves and pot herbs of your choice. Add in some cooked chicken and frozen peas at the end. Dip the yummy bread in the homemade soup and try not to make love making sounds like my husband does while eating it.

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