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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Fruity and Nutty Energy Bar

Sometimes you just need something like a chocolate bar but, obviously, nothing by any brand we want to avoid so much. By now we know that eating chocolate in reasonable amounts makes you feel psychologically speaking better and so improves the running of your body’s endorphins.

With the raw vegan trend there are plenty of recipes out there where you can make yourself an energy bar which is simply done and, more importantly, of which ingredients you have the total control of. And here is my version:

  • 60g dry (but moist) plums (pitted and roughly chopped)
  • 50g dry (but moist) dates (pitted and roughly chopped)
  • 110g apricots (roughly chopped)
  • 100g raw cocoa beans
  • 70g brazil nuts
  • 40g flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold water

Put all dry ingredients in a food processor and process until the texture is coarse. Then add a little water at a time until it reaches a dry but moist dough consistency. Scrape the mixture into a pan (container or tray with plastic wrap) and press evenly with a spatula. Put it into the freezer for at least half an hour and cut into 1″ squares. Keep the bars chilled in a box.

 


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Classic vegan Scones 

For a classic British tea time there is always something to snack, and what is more perfect than the oldie but goldie classic scone (preferably served with homemade jam) ?! Here is a good vegan version of the little yummy roll:

  • 450 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 100 g vegan butter or margarine
  • 250 ml non-dairy milk
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Tip the flour into a large bowl with the salt and baking powder, then mix. Add the butter, then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar. Add the milk and combine it quickly until it’s a smooth dough.Take a 5cm cutter and dip it into some flour. Plunge into the dough, then carefully place the scones onto the hot baking tray. Bake for 18 mins until risen and golden on the top.