le-creuset

9

NO-KNEAD CRUSTY ARTISAN BREAD

One of my most reader-tested and approved recipes! This crusty, fluffy artisan bread needs only 4 ingredients and 5 minutes to come together… you won’t believe how easy and delicious it is!

The beautiful, crusty and fluffy bread that results from just four ingredients will knock your socks off! All it takes is flour, salt, yeast and water, all mixed up in a bowl and set to rest for 8-24 hours.

Just make sure your flour is fresh and yeast isn’t expired. I’ve used both active dry yeast and highly active dry yeast with great results!

NO-KNEAD CRUSTY ARTISAN BREAD
YIELD: Makes 1 loaf
INGREDIENTS:
3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons kosher salt (not table salt)

½ teaspoon dry yeast (active dry or highly active dry work best)

1 ½ cups lukewarm water

Special cookware needed: Dutch oven or any large oven-safe dish/bowl and lid*

DIRECTIONS:
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and yeast. Stir in water using a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a shaggy but cohesive dough. Do not over-work the dough. The less you “work” it, the more soft, fluffy air pockets will form.

Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let dough sit at room temperature for 8-24 hours*. Dough will bubble up and rise.

After dough is ready, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place your Dutch oven, uncovered, into the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

While your Dutch oven preheats, turn dough onto a well-floured surface. With floured hands, form the dough into a ball. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap and let rest.

After the 30 minutes are up, carefully remove Dutch oven. With floured hands, place the bread dough into it. (You can put a piece of parchment under the dough if your Dutch oven isn’t enamel coated.)

Replace cover and bake for 30 minutes covered. Carefully remove cover and bake for 7-15 minutes* more, uncovered.

Carefully remove bread to a cutting board and slice with a bread knife.

Enjoy!

NOTES

Uncovered baking time depends on your oven. In my oven, the bread only needs 7 minutes uncovered until crusty and golden brown, but this can vary. Just keep an eye on it!

Preheating your Dutch oven to 450 degrees F will not damage it, or the knob on top.

I’ve let this dough rise anywhere between 8-24 hours and it has baked up beautifully. Just make sure it has risen and appears to “bubble” to the surface.

There’s no need to grease the Dutch oven/baking dish/pot. My bread has never stuck to the pot. If you are concerned though, put a piece of parchment paper under your dough before placing into your pot.

I do not recommend using whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour in this recipe. The resulting bread will be very dense, and not as fluffy and delicious.

I used a 5.5 quart enameled cast iron Le Creuset pot, but you can use any large oven-safe dish and cover. All of these also work: a baking dish covered with aluminum foil, crockpot insert, stainless steel pot with a lid, pizza stone with an oven-safe bowl to cover the bread, and old cast iron Dutch oven.

Add any mix-ins you like - herbs, spices, dried fruit, chopped nuts and cheese all work well. I recommend adding them into the initial flour-yeast mixture to avoid over-working the mix-ins into the dough. The less you “work” it, the more you’re encouraging soft, fluffy air pockets to form!

I got a Le Creuset enameled cast iron pot on clearance and now I’m afraid to use it because A.  I will chip it instantly and B. I don’t know any fancy recipes. 

This, plus I have failed the fancy French people at Le Creuset already because I don’t have any children/nieces/nephews to fight over my grave to get the pot as an heirloom the way the salesman assured me would happen; I guess it will just have to be stolen by whoever finds my dead body.

One Pot Pasta - Puttanesca

Questa cosa della One Pot Pasta è una figata pazzesca, io ormai sto in fissa e alcuni tipi di pasta li cucino solo così! Richiede un grande sforzo mentale da parte nostra (intendo di noi italiani) perchè la modalità di preparazione va contro tutti i disciplinari che abbiamo tatuati nel DNA, ma ne vale davvero la pena. Ad inventarla è stata Martha Stewart, che è un po’ la Jessica Fletcher dei fornelli, mitica presentatrice di programmi di cucina negli USA e, come Jessica, maestra di vita.

In poche parole si tratta di mettere tutti gli ingredienti insieme a crudo, compresa la pasta, aggiungendo pure l'acqua, sempre fredda. Il peso dell'acqua deve essere 3 volte quello della pasta, ad es. per 200gr di spaghettoni (come nella ricetta in foto) si aggiungono 600gr di acqua. Si porta tutto a bollore e da quel momento si calcola il normale tempo di cottura per il tipo di pasta che abbiamo scelto (la mia esperienza è che ci vuole qualche minuto in più a fuoco spento per la mantecatura).

Cominciamo col dire che questa tecnica, se non fosse per la temperatura degli ingredienti a freddo, è sostanzialmente quella della risottatura. La risottatura, totale o parziale, non a caso è praticata dagli chef più blasonati, perchè oltre a trattenere tutti i sapori che in questo modo si amalgamano alla perfezione, consente di utilizzare l'amido prodotto dalla pasta in cottura e, così come avviene con i risotti, si crea una meravigliosa cremetta, senza aggiunta di ulteriori grassi o addensanti, che siano naturali o meno. Inoltre, dato il limitato quantitativo di acqua, è praticamente impossibile scuocere la pasta.

Ma i vantaggi di questa tecnica non si esauriscono nel sapore. Infatti consideriamo altri fattori come ad esempio il tempo, l'ingombro e il consumo. Indubbiamente ci si impiega meno tempo, si mette tutto lì e mentre quella cuoce noi possiamo fare altro, giusto di tanto in tanto controlliamo quello che succede e se serve diamo una rimestata. Utilizziamo una sola pentola, quindi sporchiamo di meno e abbiamo bisogno di un solo fornello, consumando anche meno energia. Pensate a quelle situazioni scomode della vita nelle quali vi ritrovate solo con un fornelletto da campeggio: la One Pot potrebbe fare la differenza consentendovi di mangiare un piatto di pasta gourmet!

Parliamoci chiaro, non ci sono aspetti negativi, o almeno io ad oggi non li ho trovati. Rovistate un po’ in rete per trovare altre ricette, evitando ovviamente quelle che contengano uova o panna, perchè non verrebbero bene. Personalmente per la One Pot utilizzo le mie amate pentole in ghisa smaltata, che oltre ad essere bellissime e coloratine, consentono una diffusione uniforme del calore. Ma potete usare una qualunque pentola con coperchio, cuocendo sempre a fuoco gentile.

anonymous asked:

How did you meet your amazing girlfriend?

I’ve been sitting on this ask for some time trying to figure out the way to say this, so I suppose I will just tell the story as it happened.


I won’t be posting her URL here because I don’t want to send thousands of eyes to scour her blog, but we’ve been mutuals for something like a year, and always had crushes on each other, flirted a ton online, etc. But she lives very far away from me and this, of course, is a major obstacle, so we never made plans to act on that at all. She messaged me one day to say she’d be in town for a day or two on a family trip, and I brought up hooking up if she was interested, although I was such a nervous baby about it that I think I ACTUALLY said, “Hey we should make out or something if you want.” We agreed to meet, go to my place together, have a lot of sex, and make some sourdough because why not?  So in the days before meeting 1) I tried a new recipe and tested it out to ensure it would be good enough and 2) we sexted a ton (she’s good at this and also? world’s best Snapchat snapper) and just got to know each other really well, too, and I found out that we have all sorts of weird little things in common- we want the same number of kids, we want the same color Le Creuset oven, we like and dislike the same kinds of fruits, she has been making jam for several years and I have been making bread for several years, etc- and each of us made several obviously-not-regular-hookup comments about the other being :) the woman :) of our :) dreams :) and how ohhhh gosh if only she didn’t live so far away we’d totally be dating!


She made it to the coffeeshop where I work, and I saw her coming in the door, thought, “WOW she is prettier than I expected” and immediately pretended not to see her/to be very QUICKLY taking some trash to the back of house to go get myself settled. I put on what was apparently a very good -I am totally chill and not going to die- face, sat beside her, made some conversation about her trip up, blah blah, sexted for several hours while I was closing up shop, and decided we would catch a ride from a bar across the street from my job because I MAY have skipped out on a meeting to go fuck this really hot woman and didn’t want it to be super obvious. So I closed up like normal, went to go meet her at the bar, and she kissed me several times while waiting for the car because she was too excited to wait. Then we got home, made bread, and had really incredible sex during which she came 13 (THIRTEEN) times before I stopped counting :) :) :) And when she left I did my best to pretend not to be sad, but it didn’t work because she asked, “Are you sad?” and when I said “Oh! I didn’t think you could tell!” she proceeded to mimic my posture, which was hands-in-my-pockets, slumped over, and forlornly gazing at the ground because I’d had a really genuinely magical time with her.


The main thing is really that the second we met I just felt an instant sort of “WOW I’d like to keep this one around” feeling that I know from a lot of dating is extremely rare and really special, and I think there were lots of moments during our first date that were very much not regular hookup/hangout moments, like we each called the other sweetie more than once, spent…an absurd amount of time staring into each others’ gay eyes, held hands a lot more than would be normal for a hookup, etc. I think it took her a few hours after she left to really realize she was feeling the same thing, but every now and again you meet someone and it just feels right and natural and comfortable instantly, and you just MESH well, and that’s really what happened. So in the next few days we sort of talked things over and decided to give this thing a shot. And I’m glad we did! Sometimes you have to do the very stupid, very silly, very wild 20something thing to do and just go for it because you think you could find something really special and worth it. I think I just sort of thought, “No this isn’t the most logical thing in the world but I know how rare this feeling is and if I can, I don’t plan to let it go because of something like distance.” So now we’re girlfriends and I couldn’t be happier about it- she’s really wonderful and sweet and makes me incredibly happy and I’m so proud to be, as my blog is titled, Her Butch. She’s the best coincidence I’ve ever encountered, and I’m so glad that she came through the city at just the right time and on just the right day and we talked just often enough beforehand for her to tell me she’d be in town, because I honestly didn’t think I was capable of feeling this way again and she’s been a wonderful addition to my life. She’s a pretty excellent girlfriend and I’m more excited than I can say to kiss her again.