I'm sorry but I have writers diarrhea lately; although, it's not unwelcome (but I'll include some photos this time). Everything around me is inspiring me to write, create, and just be. A good feeling for the start of 2007. I started 2006 in shambles; feeling like I missed the transition into the New Year not being on firm ground at the stroke of midnight (literally and figuratively). 2007 feels like home, like, I've finally returned into myself after a year of treading rough streets and lonely alleys. These moments were not vein.
Notes to Myself for 2007:
- Bake more bread
- Be the best culinary student; engage in my environment at school and it use it to it's full advantage (I hope mom sees this one).
- Smile because nothing is that bad.
- Write often; just for yourself or for anything or any reason.
- Visit ethnic bakeries (and tons of bakeries in general)
- Learn a lot more about Indian food and India's culture.
- Try to embrace my soon-to-be less spacious, less technological, less marble counter top kitchen in our new house (more on that another time; ode to kitchen post to follow some time soon).
And that's that... Onward with the food!
At proximately 2:03 pm, eastern standard time, Lauren's first loaf of Jim Lahey's No-Knead bread was laid to rest by Lauren herself as she tore the last humble wedge in two and munched. Loaf had a short but fulfilling life, giving joy and full bellies to many, living up to every expectation (except maybe a short a few teaspoons of salt).
The ease of preparation in the this bread has been boasted all of the internet and now I can attest to this statements veracity. Some notes about my preparation are that I left the bread for approximately 18 hours for the first rise and used wheat bran as my non-stick agent and slipmat underneath instead of a towel. I used 1 1/2 cups water, as instructed in the video and not as listed in err as 1 5/8 cups in the text recipe as posted. I also do not own a dutch oven but I do have ownership of a few of my great grandmother's cast iron pans which worked beautifully. I used the smaller one to hold the bread and the larger to cover it for the first 30 minutes. I'm writing these notes with the assumption that you know about this bread or have tried it yourself but if not please check out the article on the New York Times website.
I'm obviously dreaming up variations for the next loaves. I have a large bunch of fresh rosemary leftover from the accompanying soup for dinner last night, Chickpea-Tomato Soup with Fresh Rosemary from Orangette's recipe archive. This fresh rosemary may just find it's way into a loaf of bread this coming week. As for the soup, smooth, simple and full of flavor; the fresh rosemary does not overwhelm any of the other ingredients, just compliments (for those iffy about rosemary, as my mother is). The only thing I changed in the recipe was reducing the total amount of olive oil from 3 tbsp to 1.5 tbsp which is used to sautee the garlic and rosemary; I wouldn't use more than the 1.5 tablespoons, anymore would be too oily, in my humble opinion.
Hopefully this year will continue as the preparation and eating of this No-Knead Bread did, with ease and delight.