Firstly, thank you for all the kind, amazing feedback after yesterday’s post. It wasn’t easy putting myself out there. After hitting “post” yesterday morning, my heart skipped a beat and I geared up for the worst. It was a huge leap of “blog faith”, I guess you could say. So, thank you!
In food news…
If yeast and kneading and rising scare you, you’re not alone. I’ve only attempted yeast breads a time or two, but there’s really nothing to fear. Sure, you need a bit of time and patience, but there’s no rocket science or technique involved. Just read the directions 😉
My first recommendation is to buy loose yeast (i.e. not packets). This way yeast can easily be measured out, plus it’s more economical. Second, use a kitchen thermometer (meat or candy) to find “lukewarm” water at 100° F. While 100° sounds rather warm, it’s not, and too hot of water will kill your yeast causing a flopped bread. If you don’t have a thermometer, just caution on the side of being too cold vs. too hot. The water should be warm, but feel too cold if it were bath water, let’s say.
Simple Crusty Bread from My Bizzy Kitchen and “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”
1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour + more for dusting dough
In a large bowl or plastic container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100° F). Stir in flour with a wooden spoon, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose and sticky. I covered with plastic wrap sprayed with Pam. Let dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).
Bake at this point, or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little and cut into four pieces. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch the surface creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put dough on a surface sprinkled with cornmeal and rest for 40 minutes.
Place a broiler pan in the bottom of the oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450° F; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.
Dust dough with flour; slash the top with a serrated knife. Slide onto stone (I used a pizza stone). Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 22-28minutes. Cool completely.Yield: 4 small loaves (approx. 8 – 3/4th inch thick slices per loaf).
Nutrition Information (1/8th of loaf): 81 calories; 0 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 108 mg. sodium; 18 g. carbohydrate; 0 g. fiber; 2.4 g. protein
Result: I saw this recipe on Biz’s blog long, long ago and I’ve been wanting to make it ever since. But like I said, the yeast and rising scared me…for no good reason! The secret is that this is baked at a high temperature with a water bath to steam the outside for a crunchy crust, just as Biz said. If you don’t have a broiler pan to use, just throw the water in an 8×8 pan — it will serve the same function. I halved this recipe and cooked the loaves one at a time. Mr. Prevention wishes I would’ve made the whole recipe — he ate an entire loaf in one sitting (literally)! Portion control much?! I look forward to trying some herb and whole wheat varieties of this bread. It’s delicious – enjoy! 😀
And for fun, Kjirsten tagged me to answer 10 random questions. Thanks, girl!
1. How many days a week do you workout? I religiously workout 4-5 days a week — 3 runs, 1 elliptical workout, and 1 hockey game is a typical week.
2. What is your favorite ab move? Reverse crunches — lay flat on your back, pull your knees to your chest and then extend your legs straight out so that they are 6″ or less from the ground, being sure to not let them touch down. Repeat in slow motion. You want to do these slowly to get a good ab workout, especially once your legs are fully extended.
3. If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be? Ellen Degeneres. I just love her!
4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why? I’m not sure. Hubby and I talk about this a lot, but I think Chicago (home) would be my first choice.
5. What is your favorite beauty product you can’t go a day without? I have 2 can’t-live-without-’em products: BadGal Mascara from Benefit and smudge-proof eye-liner from Stila. Both products hold up through a long, sweaty hockey game but come off easily with face wash.
6. Do you have any pets? If so what kind? If you don’t what animal would you love to have? If you read my blog, you probably know about Lily, my English Bulldog. We also have an albino corn snake named Pinky. He made an appearance on the blog once upon a time and I think it freaked people out!!
7. If you could only eat one food for the rest of you life, what would it be? I think cereal…
8. What does your family and friends think about your blog? My family and friends are so supportive of my blog and many of them read on a fairly regular basis. Mr. P, however, never reads my blog. I should start dishing out the dirt on him, shouldn’t I?! 😉
9. What is one sport you haven’t tried, but would love to get involved in? Salsa dancing. Sexy workout time with a man…I’m there!
10. Red wine or white wine? Red (merlot or chianti, usually), however, Pinot Grigio has been a favorite lately.
Rather than tagging just a few people, I ask you:
If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be?