Wednesday, August 29, 2012

No-Knead Bread

Years ago, when everyone was baking the New York Times no-knead bread, I tried it out and the only thing that happened was that I ruined a perfectly fine le creuset and generated inedible bread. Not sure what made me try it again (I used the already wrecked le creuset) but this time it worked out beautifully. Maybe, I understand bread a little bit better. Also, I used the kitchenaid standmixer for some good kneading, which allowed the dough to rise in record time (a few hours). Once the bread was baked, it was perfection! This is a really simple recipe with few ingredients; however, the salt should be added late in the process (salt and yeast don’t work together that well during the initial rise process). The trick with the preheated cast iron dutch oven creates a very crusty bread. It is like fresh French bread.   (The recipe is actually very similar to the NYTimes recipe, a bit less water and more yeast, anyway it worked!)

Minimally kneaded bread:
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 ts yeast
  • 1 ts bakers milk powder (King Arthur Flour website) (optional)
  • 1 ts salt
  • 1-1/2 cups warm water
  1. In a standmixer bowl with the kneading hook attachment, whisk together the flour and yeast. Slowly add the lukewarm water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms. Knead for about 5-10 min., Add the salt, and knead another 2 min. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 6-12 hours (up to 24h if you knead by hand) at room temperature. 
  2. Preheat oven to 450F. Place a cast iron dutch oven with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the risen dough onto a floured surface (mixture will be sticky) and lightly shape into a round loaf.
  3. Remove the hot cast iron pot from the oven and carefully place the dough into it. Cover with a lid and return to oven for 30 minutes. Then, remove the lid and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Carefully remove bread from oven and from pot and place on a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Zucchini Carrot Bread

It is the time of the season when the reliable production of zucchini in the garden leads to.... zucchini bread. I made this recipe with lower calories by adding kidney beans instead of half of the canola oil, and the NuNatural Stevia based baking mix instead of a 1/2 cup of brown sugar. You'd never know -- it tastes great!


Zucchini Carrot Bread
1 loaf (22 servings)

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
  • 2 free-range eggs 
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup cooked kidney beans (rinsed, no-salt) 
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup NuNaturals baking mix 
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • 1/2 ts salt 
  • 1 3/4 cup grated zucchini (squeeze out excess moisture) 
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 8x4 loaf pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
In a larger food processor, whisk oil and the kidney beans, until smooth. Add eggs and mix until well blended.  Add brown sugar, stevia baking blend, vanilla,  and salt, and puree until smooth.  Pour mixture into a mixing bowl, add grated zucchini and carrot, stirring gently until combined. Add flour mixture to zucchini mixture, folding until just combined. 
Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 5 to 10 minutes and then move to wire rack to cool completely.