We’re into Week 5 of our kitchen renovation and we’re still standing! Actually I am getting used to cooking our meals on portable burners in the basement and washing dishes in the laundry room sink. Our basement has become the hub of all our activities. The kitchen renovation will be fully completed once the counters will be installed.
Kitchen – Right side – Before
Since the oven is now operational I can finally bake! I decided to ‘christen’ my oven by making bread using the ‘No Knead Bread’ recipe from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery, NYC. I have made this bread a few times and it’s one of my family’s favourites. The prep work is minimal and the results are delicious. Besides the smell of baking bread is heavenly!
No Knead Bread Recipe (adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery, NYC.
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
¼ 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
Different variations of this recipe can be made by adding herbs, olives, cheese, etc… I like to eat it grilled, rubbed with garlic, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with rosemary!