On our ‘About Us’ page, I talk about how I inherited my love of cooking (and eating) from my Dad (as well as his vast library of Gourmet, Food & Wine and Bon Appetit magazines, dating all the way back to 1994- an ongoing project of mine is to sift through those). Growing up, my mum was a solid cook, but she didn’t really enjoy it all that much. Eating? Of course. Cooking? Suuuuure. It was okay. It wasn’t offensive, but it wasn’t her favourite passtime, by any stretch.
Thus, it followed that weekends, Friday through Sunday, my Dad usually took over in the kitchen. Friday night, my parents would set my sister and I up with a couple movie rentals, crack a bottle of wine or two, and then proceed to cook something new, exciting and elaborate. Friday nights were about candlelight and movies and wine and relaxing, with dinner usually ending up on the table somewhere around 9pm. Despite the fact that my parents used this time to experiment in the kitchen- often resulting in an end-product meal my sister and I weren’t tooooo keen on (ewww…. polenta…)- these nights still ring out as some of my favourite childhood memories.
It’s a tradition I have upheld in my own adult life. Weeknights are for pizzas and leftovers and simple staples. Weekends… don’t even suggest leftovers, these are the days when I have time to cook, let me revel in them.
So, what happens when a cooking nut hooks up with someone else who can also hold their own in the kitchen? Well, as further discussed in our About Us section, one of them usually gets Alpha’d out. In the case of me and my Dad, he still reigns Alpha in any kitchen we share. At home, Colin can maneuver the kitchen very well on his own but, met with my enthusiasm, he rarely gets an opportunity to cook. I am the queen of my kitchen.
As for my Dad, he still revels in cooking but has met his match in my step-mum. She might not blow through the foodie mags quite like he does, but she can certainly hold her own. She makes a mean pie, a perfect cocktail and, my personal favourite, this no-knead bread.
This bread is wonderfully versatile and incredibly easy to make. I like experimenting with this recipe by adding different herbs, grains, flours and cheeses but, at the end of the day, the simple standard loaf is perfection.
5 minutes of work (and not really much ‘work’ at that), a long rise. It’s all about technique with this recipe. Getting a sturdy, heavy pot to cook the loaf in, preheating the pot, letting the dough rise and ferment…
The end result is a mindblowingly good loaf of bread- crispy crust and a chewy, moist crumb that you can’t help but rip into. Flavourful all on it’s own, I challenge you not to want to tear into the bread 5 minutes after it leaves the oven. A swoop of butter or other flavourful fat, melted into the craggy surface… I mean, it’s downright sexy. This is a sexy, sexy loaf of bread.
No-knead bread? No, you need this bread.
|5-Minute No-Knead Bread|| |
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp active dry yeast
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1½ cups lukewarm water
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and yeast. In a separate bowl, combine lemon juice and water and then add it to the flour mixture. Mix until combined- the dough will be thick and fairly wet. Cover loosely with a tea towel and let stand for 18 hours in a non-drafty place.
- Pour dough out on to a lightly floured surface (flouring more as needed, as mentioned, it will be fairly moist at this stage). Shape dough into a loaf and place in a floured bowl. Let rise for and additional 1-2 hours.
- Place a heavy pot in a cold oven. Heat to oven 500 degrees, letting the empty pot heat up.
- Quickly and carefully remove the heated pot from the oven and roll the loaf into it. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Remove lid, reduce heat to 375 and bake for another 20 minutes.