Tuesday, December 19, 2006

There is much to blog about since I've been offline for so long.

However, I don't feel like typing it because we have been hit with a flu since Sunday.

Imagine being so dreadfully sick and having to drive 6 hours home. Two hours into that drive, imagine that your daughter starts throwing up too. Monday, all is good. You think, hey only two of us got hit, yay. But then imagine that right before bedtime your son starts throwing up and throws up all night. Then your husband starts today.

Luckily this nasty bug lasts only 6 hours, but its a horrible, draining 6 hours. Its been two days since I had it and my body is still weak and weary.

Now that I've really got your mind on pleasent and lovely things, I'm going to share a recipe.

Its probably the easiest and best tasting bread you'll ever make, hands down.

Its called no-knead bread and it was originally published in the New York Times. Its sweeping across the internet and makes the best homemade bread I've ever tasted.

I'll paste the recipe below, but if you click here you can download the recipe, with pictures, plus the original article and further notes from the author. Well worth the read in my opinion.

No Knead Bread

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups 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) in 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 O.K. Shake pan once or twice if 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.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

Ok, all for now. Off to tend to the sick family.

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