living and cooking for the planet, for the health, for the animals


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Bread time!

I stumbled upon the New York Times no-knead bread (by Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery) only recently and I desperately wanted to try out this recipe.  Since I do believe that flour is a very delicate but so important factor in our diet I try to get control over it as much as possible. This means that I decided to reduce eating bread and pasta in general. In the case of craving bread I also figured out that it is better to bake it yourself and it is so much more fun and satisfying.

The New York Times no-knead bread is a kind of farmer’s bread with a beautiful crust and a wonderful crumb. The fermentation time provides a fragrant aroma and the prep time is a super plus! It just takes 10 minutes and can be done in between and during your other daily activities! Because I like to modify recipes in my way I changed the basic one a little bit so that I would use the flour I think is best. If you want to try out the original one you’ll find it here: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/11376-no-knead-bread

Ingredients

  • 4 ½ cups organic whole grain wheat flour
  • 2 cups organic wheat flour (Italian tipo 0)
  • 1 tablespoon organic hemp flour
  • ½  teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • more flour for dusting
  • 3 cups of water

Instructions

Place all types of  flour in a large bowl and mix with the salt, and yeast.

In a pot preheat the water to 40 °C and Add to the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until blended. Don’t be surprised if the dough will be shaggy and sticky.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 4 hours at warm room temperature, and then leave it in the fridge overnight (about 12 hours).

The next morning you take the bowl outside the fridge and leave it 3 till 4 hours again at warm room temperature.

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 220 °C degrees. Put a heat resistant pot with its lid (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats.

Fold the dough loosely from above and below one-third. Do not press or knead the dough. The fluffy dough ball is now ready (best with floured hands!) to let slip into the hot pot. Cover it and put it back into the oven immediately.
Carefully remove pot from oven. Take the soft dough ball (best with floured hands!) and turn dough over into pot. It will look messy, 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 reduce the heat to 180 °C and bake another 30 minutes until the loaf is golden brown. Cool on a rack. Enjoy!


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Making a sweet yeast dough

Currently I’m cooking and baking under not the best conditions, well, I have no proper oven but a mini electronic one. This is indeed a pain in the ass, if I may say so, because all my recipes just wouldn’t work. Not at all! I’m sure that the heat circulation is one big factor why all my trying was for nothing. But after a while I figured that you just need to bake strong doughs (easy to make recipes) and follow the rule if subs tracking circa 30-40 degrees Celsius of the given degree number.

One of what I consider strong doughs is a sweet yeast dough. Many people are very afraid of doing one but in my opinion it’s one of the easiest. You just need to stick to some very important rules: yeast needs some feeding (sugar and milk), doesn’t want to touch eithe fat or salt, needs a warm place and likes to rest. Voilà! 

For a small rack (in a mini oven, otherwise double the ingredients) you need:

  • 250 g organic whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 package of dry yeast
  • 30 g organic cane sugar
  • 100 ml soy milk 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil 
  • pinch of salt

Sieve the flour into a bowl and make a hole for the yeast. Put in the yeast and give it the feeding it needs: all the sugar and milk. Combine and leave the mixture in the hole for 15 min. Combine everything with the egg. Now that the yeast is properly mixed up you can add the fat and salt. Mix together and you get a smooth dough. Leave it at a warm place for 30 min to grow, then knead again, leave for another 30 min. Then it’s ready to use! Be creative! I just some of the elder jam to make a cake with buckwheat-quinoa crumbles!