No-Knead Bread

By Libbie Summers
Recipe by Jim Lahey from his book My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No Knead Method

First of all, Jim Lahey is a damn baking god. I trained in traditional french baking when I was younger with a lot of pomp and circumstance. It wasn’t until I made this no-knead bread that I questioned why I had spent all that time and money having some French guy berate me when bread was really this easy to bake.

Here is Jim’s recipe (with one minor change for me…sorry Jim) for a basic long-fermented rustic bread. It will change your life.
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No-Knead Bread by Jim Lahey
(long-fermented rustic bread)
makes 1 (10-inch) round loaf

What you need: 
3 cups (400 grams) bread flour (I’ve done this with bread flour and all-purpose flour…they both crush!)
1 1/4 teaspoons (8 grams) table salt (I have used 1 1/2 teaspoons AND 1 1/4 teaspoons and they both work)
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) instant or other active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups (300 grams) cool water (55 to 65 degrees F) (I used 1 1/2 cups warm/NOT hot)
Wheat bran, cornmeal, or additional flour, for dusting (I only use flour)
Special equipment:
A 4 1/2- to 5 1/2-quart heavy pot (I used a cast-iron dutch oven, you could also use any dutch oven or pyrex casserole with lid)

What to do:

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and yeast. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds. Make sure it’s really sticky to the touch; if it’s not, mix in another tablespoon or two of water. Cover the bowl with a plate, tea towel, or plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature (about 72 degrees F), out of direct sunlight, until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size. This will take a minimum of 12 hours and (my preference) up to 18 hours. This slow rise—fermentation—is the key to flavor. (I let mine rise for 18 hours)

2. When the first fermentation is complete, generously dust a work surface (a wooden or plastic cutting board is fine) with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough onto the board in one piece. When you begin to pull the dough away from the bowl, it will cling in long, thin strands (this is the developed gluten), and it will be quite loose and sticky—do not add more flour. Use lightly floured hands or a bowl scraper or spatula to lift the edges of the dough in toward the center. Nudge and tuck in the edges of the dough to make it round.

3. Place a cotton or linen tea towel (not terry cloth, which tends to stick and may leave lint in the dough) or a large cloth napkin on your work surface and generously dust the cloth with wheat bran, cornmeal, or flour. Use your hands or a bowl scraper or wooden spatula to gently lift the dough onto the towel, so it is seam side down. If the dough is tacky, dust the top lightly with wheat bran, cornmeal, or flour. Fold the ends of the towel loosely over the dough to cover it and place it in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it is almost doubled. If you gently poke it with your finger, making an indentation about 1/4 inch deep, it should hold the impression. If it doesn’t, let it rise for another 15 minutes.

4. Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F, with a rack in the lower third position, and place a covered 4 1/2–5 1/2 quart heavy pot in the center of the rack. (I use a cast iron dutch oven and bake at 450º F)

5. Using pot holders, carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven and uncover it. Unfold the tea towel, lightly dust the dough with flour or bran, lift up the dough, either on the towel or in your hand, and quickly but gently invert it into the pot, seam side up. (Use caution—the pot will be very hot.) Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes.

6. Remove the lid and continue baking until the bread is a deep chestnut color but not burnt, 15 to 30 minutes more. Use a heatproof spatula or pot holders to carefully lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly. Don’t slice or tear into it until it has cooled, which usually takes at least an hour. (I always bake for a minimum of 30 minutes with the lid removed, sometimes 40 min.)

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Roasted Korean Cauliflower

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
Chamber Apron in Grey Linen: Libbie Summers’ Yum Yum Smile Shop
Kitchen Towel in Dark Sand Linen: Libbie Summers’ Yum Yum Smile Shop

Caramelized at the edges and on the edge of spice. This Korean Cauliflower recipe is the healthier sister to the fried variety but packs the same flavor punch! 

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Roasted Korean Cauliflower
serves 2-4

What you need: 
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 head cauliflower, cut into bitesized florets
1/3 cup gochujang (red pepper paste)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
3 scallions, chopped

What to do: 
1. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Line a baking sheet with foil.
2. Melt Coconut Oil: If your oil is solid, spoon the coconut oil onto the baking sheet and place in the oven just until starting to melt (it will continue to melt).
3. Start Roasting Cauliflower: Place cauliflower on the baking sheet and toss to coat with the coconut oil. Spread out evenly and roast for 15 minutes.
4. Make Sauce: In a large mixing bowl, stir together the gochujang (pronounced, GO-CHEW-JANG), honey, soy sauce and vinegar.
5. Finish Cauliflower: Remove cauliflower from the oven and add to the bowl of sauce. Toss to fully coat. Return to the baking sheet and roast until edges are caramelized (about 15-20 minutes).

To Serve: Garnish with chopped scallions and serve.

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Walnut, Apricot and Blue Cheese Pull-Apart Bread

By Libbie Summers
Photography Chia Chong

One easy dough…many delicious recipes.

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Walnut Apricot and Blue Cheese Pull-Apart Bread
makes 1 loaf

What you need: 
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2  teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup butter, cubed plus 2 tablespoons melted
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots or pears
3 ounces crumbled blue cheese

What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 425º F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper until combined. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the mixture forms pea-size pieces. Add the buttermilk and pulse just until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough onto a well-floured work surface and knead it gently three times.
3. Roll the dough out into a long thin rectangle (24×8-inches).
4. Brush the top of the dough with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.
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5. Spread walnuts, apricots and blue cheese over the dough and press into the dough (slightly) with your hands.
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6. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough in half lengthwise and then cut the dough widthwise into nine equal-size strips. You will have eighteen equal pieces of dough.
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7. Stack all but one piece of the dough on top of each other with the toppings facing up. Place the final piece on the top with the toppings facing down. The dough is sticky enough that the stack will hold together when pressed a little so don’t worry. This is going to be a bit messy and that’s cool.
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8. Carefully lay the stack on its side in the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle any of the contents that may have fallen out onto the top of the dough. Separate the slices a little with your fingertips and brush the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter.
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9. Bake the loaf for 30 minutes, until it has risen and is golden brown. Let cool slightly before removing from the pan and serving.
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Try these other topping combinations:
•Seed Pull-Apart Bread (1 tablespoon poppy seeds, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, 1/3 cup sunflower seeds and 1/3 cup pepitas)
•Greek (1 cup chopped Kalamata olives, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, 1 cup crumbled feta cheese)

 

 

Radish-Inspired Floral Centerpiece!

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
Tabletop Linens from Yum Yum Smile Shop

“When I asked her to tell me a food the inspired or held a special memory for her, she quietly whispered “radish”. And so a luncheon table was set in her honor..”

 

I wanted to honor a friend by setting a table inspired by her favorite vegetable, radish. I started with a foam head form from my local craft store, and three dozen pink geraniums in three different shades of a radish – the idea was to duplicate the beautiful ombre color of a radish. I carefully removed the tops from the stems and pinned them to the foam head using long corsage pins. From the back, I pinned darker pink or reds and in the front I pinned the lighter pinks. Once finished I added a fun temporary tattoo from Tater Tats! Isn’t she beautiful?!

Radish-Inspired Floral Centerpiece by Libbie Summers

To set the table: I used white hand thrown plates, pink water glasses, rosé glasses, gold flatware, and Agen Linens Napkins from Yum Yum Smile Shop!
Radish-Inspired Floral Centerpiece by Libbie Summers

We opened a great bottle of rosé, poured two glasses and sat to eat.

The coarse; a fresh greens salad with matchstick radish, a sprinkle of fresh thyme and a drizzle of homemade Raspberry Jam Vinaigrette dressing.

Raspberry Jam Vinaigrette
(sweet, smooth and pretty)

What you need:
1 heaping tablespoon raspberry jam
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
Flake sea salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
What to do:
Whisk jam, lemon juice, vinegar and oil vigorously together. Salt and pepper to taste.

Radish-Inspired Floral Centerpiece by Libbie Summers

 

 

Avocado Goat Cheese Dip (Video)

by Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

Trust me, THIS will be your go to dip/spread recipe! Make any multiples of it you like. It just keeps getting bigger and better! 

What you need:
1 clove garlic
1/4 t ground cumin
1/4 t flake sea salt
1 ripe avocado
3 T lime juice
4 ounces goat cheese
4 ounces  cream cheese

What to do:
In a bowl combine avocados, garlic, cumin and salt. Use a molcajete, blender or food processor to mix ingredients together. Add lime juice, cream cheese and goat cheese pulsing until smooth and blended well. Add a bit more salt, if necessary.

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