First of all, let me say I'm so sad not to have thrown a bunch of new recipes at you this month. Circumstances have conspired to keep me away from my kitchen, which is terribly disappointing to me; I miss my culinary meditation time. Second, thank you so much to CindyCupcake for both following my tweets and for mentioning my web series! You're so sweet - and as a result, you get to request a recipe, miss! Just tell me 2-4 ingredients and I will make a recipe just for you and name it after you. (It's the next best thing to baking cookies and mailing them to wherever you are!)
With regards to Family Valuables - this series is one very close to my heart. I, along with two friends, came up with the idea, wrote, directed, cast, and acted in it. We had a wonderful crew who worked tirelessly with us to make the show what it turned out to be. We shot three episodes and two teaser scenes in a very short amount of time on very little funding and we are so terribly proud of the work we accomplished. For more information on the series, you can visit www.familyvaluablesseries.com, find us on Facebook, or just go straight to watching the episodes. I do appear in the series (more so later in the season). I'm in Episode 1 as one of the Mormon visitors and then in one of the teaser scenes as my characters true identity... dun dun dun. Please check it out, 'like' it on blip.tv and/or Facebook if you do (how could you not?), and tell your friends if you like. We made it to make people laugh, so the more people who see it, the better.
Now! For all ya'll who are hungering for something other than entertainment, here's an incredibly easy recipe for bread! Yes, bread! I know, I generally avoid this food staple due to the lack of nutrients usually found in the store-bought versions. But with this recipe - a recipe I actually learned about through a Cornerstone Theater piece the entitled 'Bread' and directed by the wonderful Nancy Keystone - you get to make a delicious, crusty loaf from scratch and share it with our friends and family. And your house will smell absolutely incredible. Breaking bread and sharing it around the table has always been a Thanksgiving tradition in my family (even though many of us have given it up for the rest of the year) and I'm overjoyed to share this with you.
All you need is a bowl, a dutch oven, plastic wrap, two cotton towels, some very basic ingredients, and time. So, without further ado...
Knead-Free Scrumptious Loaf
Yields one 1.5 lb loaf
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting (you can use whole wheat flour instead, just be careful making sure that the dough doesn't become too dense)
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
flax seeds (optional)
minced and crushed rosemary (optional)
olive oil (optional)
1. In a large bowl, combine flour, flax seeds, rosemary, yeast, and salt. Add 4/5 cup water and 4/5 cup olive oil (or all water as you choose - the oil makes a denser, moister loaf), and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours - preferably about 18 - at warm room temperature (about 70 F).
2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for another fifteen minutes.
3. Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball.
Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour; wn dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, the dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 F. Put a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, or ceramic - I use my awesome La Creuset dutch oven) in the oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven. Slide our hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. It may (and probably will) look like a mess, but that's a-OK. Shake the pan once or twice if the dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake for 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake for another 15-30 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
This is by far the easiest bread recipe I've ever seen and the result is simply delectable. As per usual, feel free to substitute or add ingredients to suits your tastes and whims. Add different herbs, or olives, or nuts, raisins, or currants. Go on. Have a peace! And have a wonderful, wholesome Thanksgiving!
20 hours ago