Friday, February 13, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: The Gorgeous Boys

Every February, these big dudes pay us a visit. And, they're no dummies. They're hanging out inside the Park City city limits ~ where they can rest in my backyard ~ safe and sound...

For more {slightly} Wordless Wednesday participants, click here!

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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

The Lazy Girl's Artisan Bread

Prepare to be dazzled.
While the East Coast digs out from yet another epic snowstorm, here I sit in my {grumble grumble} Western ski resort with the windows wide open, peering out on a muddy brown landscape. Ran errands without a jacket earlier this morning. It's all adding up to be a very non-wintery winter. 

Kind of disappointing because I love winter. And, the whole idea of hunkering down, indoors, with a good book, a great movie or marvelous aromas wafting from the kitchen. Just something about a cold, snowy day that inspires a yummy homemade bread.

One of my East Coast, fortunate enough to be sent home from work because of the weather, friends asked me for this recipe. Which got me thinking that maybe you'd like to try it, too. Been baking this bread for a few months, now - to rave reviews from family and friends. It's a no-fuss process that requires about 3 minutes of your attention.

The Lazy Girl's Artisan Bread

In a large bowl, mix: 
  • 3 cups of bread flour (3 cups of flour = a 1 pound loaf of bread.)
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 + 1/2 cups warm water
* Resist the temptation to add more water; the dough will look a little dry.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, or a lid, of some sort. The cover will trap moisture, inspiring the mixture to work it's magic.

Leave your bowl on the kitchen counter for several hours.
* I combine the ingredients in the morning and bake it for dinner.

If you've been on this blog before, you're probably aware that I never have any of the necessary utensils.
* Saran Wrap works much better than my ill-fitting lid.
* AND, this recipe is ideal for a Le Creuset Dutch Oven ~ should you be so fortunate as to own one. I use my Lodge Dutch Oven.

Don't be as lazy as me. Go buy some Saran Wrap. :)
Bake that Lovely Loaf:
  • Preheat the oven to a whopping 450 degrees.  
  • Put your empty dutch oven pan in the oven while it preheats. Yup. It's gonna be really hot.
Put a cup of bread flour on your bread board. Pour your precious dough out onto the bread board and work a wee bit more flour into it. Don't spend more than a minute on this process. And, don't worry that your bread isn't rising.

* I use a cooking spray on my Lodge Dutch Oven - you may not need to for the Le Creuset.

Once the oven is preheated, place your dough in the very hot dutch oven and, put the lid on it.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Take the lid off and bake for 15-30 minutes more. Until it's a scrumptious golden brown.
  • Once the lid is off, while still baking, I spray the loaf with an olive oil cooking spray to make it super crusty.  You could opt for an egg white/water wash, if you prefer.
Re-blooming African Violets
A most amazing artisan bread that rivals anything you could purchase at a bakery. It requires very little work -- other than the fact that you'll have to bake one every other day. It's so yummy it disappears quite quickly. :)

PS: This has been adapted from the no-knead bread recipes that have been flitting about the internet.

PPS: Pray for snow.

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