No-Knead Crusty White Bread

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I’ve made this recipe a bunch of times in the last few months, it is so easy and so good! Don’t be scared by the long instructions, it’s actually not many steps and there’s only a few minutes of hands-on time.

No-Knead Crusty White Bread

Each batch makes 3-4 loaves, depending on how large you make them, and you can shape them into rounds or a loaf shape. When the bread is fresh from the oven, the outside is crusty and the inside is soft and it just screams for a good butter. Or balsamic and olive oil. Or really anything! Since I couldn’t eat the entire loaf right away, I ended up slicing it, flash freezing each slice, then freezing everything and pulling slices out as I needed them.

No-Knead Crusty White Bread

One of the great things about this recipe is that you can easily add different mix-ins to customize your loaves. So far, I’ve added cheddar and jalapeños, but I have plans to add cinnamon-sugar next. There are so many flavor possibilities here!

***Before you start, you’ll want to read all of King Arthur Flour’s tips, because they’re super important and will make the whole process even easier.

Ingredients
3 cups lukewarm water (about 105 F)
6 1/2 to 7 1/2 cups (32 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons instant or active dry yeast

Preparation

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, or a large (6-quart), food-safe plastic bucket.
  2. Mix and stir everything together to make a very sticky, rough dough. If you have a stand mixer, beat at medium speed with the beater blade for 30 to 60 seconds. If you don’t have a mixer, just stir-stir-stir with a big spoon or dough whisk until everything is combined.
  3. Next, you’re going to let the dough rise. If you’ve made the dough in a plastic bucket, you’re all set — just let it stay there, covering the bucket with a lid or plastic wrap; a shower cap actually works well here. If you’ve made the dough in a bowl that’s not at least 6-quart capacity, transfer it to a large bowl; it’s going to rise a lot. There’s no need to grease the bowl, though you can if you like; it makes it a bit easier to get the dough out when it’s time to bake bread.
  4. Cover the bowl or bucket, and let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours. Then refrigerate it for at least 2 hours, or for up to about 7 days. (If you’re pressed for time, skip the room-temperature rise, and stick it right into the fridge). The longer you keep it in the fridge, the tangier it’ll get; if you chill it for 7 days, it will taste like sourdough. Over the course of the first day or so, it’ll rise, then fall. That’s OK; that’s what it’s supposed to do.
  5. When you’re ready to make bread, sprinkle the top of the dough with flour; this will make it easier to grab a hunk. Grease your hands, and pull off about 1/4 to 1/3 of the dough — a 14-ounce to 19-ounce piece, if you have a scale. It’ll be about the size of a softball, or a large grapefruit.
    Plop the sticky dough onto a floured work surface, and round it into a ball, or a longer log. Don’t fuss around trying to make it perfect; just do the best you can.
  6. Place the loaf on a piece of parchment (if you’re going to use a baking stone); or onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Sift a light coating of flour over the top; this will help keep the bread moist as it rests before baking.
  7. Let the loaf warm to room temperature and rise; this should take about 60 minutes (or longer, up to a couple of hours, if your house is cool). It won’t appear to rise upwards that much; rather, it’ll seem to settle and expand. Preheat your oven to 450°F while the loaf rests. If you’re using a baking stone, position it on a middle rack while the oven preheats. Place a shallow metal or cast iron pan (not glass, Pyrex, or ceramic) on the lowest oven rack, and have 1 cup of hot water ready to go.
  8. When you’re ready to bake, take a sharp knife and slash the bread 2 or 3 times, making a cut about 1/2″ deep. The bread may deflate a bit; that’s OK, it’ll pick right up in the hot oven.
    Place the bread in the oven — onto the baking stone, if you’re using one, or simply onto a middle rack, if it’s on a pan — and carefully pour the 1 cup hot water into the shallow pan on the rack beneath. It’ll bubble and steam; close the oven door quickly.
  9. Bake the bread for 25 to 35 minutes, until it’s a deep, golden brown.
  10. Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack. Store leftover bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.

Recipe by King Arthur Flour.

Passover Recipe Round-Up

Passover is fast approaching, and here are my favorite recipes from over the years. The Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies, Chocolate Chip Meringues, and the Brazilian Cheese Bread are all non-Passover recipes that are perfect for Passover, and always a huge hit! The rest are Passover-specific.

Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies
Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies

Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)
Brazilian Cheese Bread

Chocolate Glazed Tart

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Every year for Thanksgiving, I made apple pie and of course, something with pumpkin. This year, we added a chocolate dessert to the menu and it was pretty amazing. While this tart has a lot of steps, it’s easy to put together and the finished product is a stunner. It’s moist, very rich, and super chocolaty, so you’ll want to make sure to cut slices thin!

I wish I had a better photo, but it was taken in a rush!

Chocolate Glazed Tart

Ingredients
Crust
9 (5- by 2 1/4-inch) chocolate graham crackers (not chocolate-covered), finely ground (1 cup)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

Filling
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not more than 65% cacao if marked), chopped
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Glaze
2 tablespoon heavy cream
1 3/4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1 tablespoon warm water

Preparation
Crust
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Stir together all ingredients and press evenly onto bottom and 3/4 inch up side of tart pan. Bake until firm, about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack 15 to 20 minutes

Filling
Bring cream to a boil, then pour over chocolate in a bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Gently stir until smooth. Whisk together eggs, vanilla, and salt in another bowl, then stir into melted chocolate.

Pour filling into cooled crust. Bake until filling is set about 3 inches from edge but center is still wobbly, 20 to 25 minutes. (Center will continue to set as tart cools.) Cool completely in pan on rack, about 1 hour.

Glaze
Bring cream to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in chocolate until smooth. Stir in corn syrup, then warm water.

Pour glaze onto tart, then tilt and rotate tart so glaze coats top evenly. Let stand until glaze is set, about 1 hour.

Recipe from Epicurious

Candy Corn Cookies & Brach’s Giveaway

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I love, love, love, candy corn. So when Brach’s reached out asking if I’d like to bake something using candy corn, I immediately said yes! They sent me a HUGE box of a bunch of different flavors, but because I’m a purist, I baked with the Mini Candy Corn. Did you know they also make Fruit Crèmes, Peanut Butter, Caramel Macchiato, and Pumpkin Spice? So many choices!

Candy Corn Cookies

I decided to make cookies using a not terribly sweet sugar cookie base, and they turned out delicious. The candy corn melted and got gooey, and the cookies were amazing, especially while warm. The thing to keep in mind with this recipe is to add the candy corn to the dough balls, making sure the candy is tucked into the dough and not touching the cookie sheet.

Thank you Brach's!

Ingredients
1 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mini candy corn (or cut regular candy corn in half-ish)

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes with a stand mixer. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until very well combined.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until combined and the dough comes together.

Use a cookie scoop to drop balls of dough on the prepared baking sheet, about 1-inch apart. Tuck candy corn into dough, making sure the candy does not touch the cookie sheet.

Bake for 8 minutes or until edges are golden and tops are just slightly underdone looking.

Cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Yields 4-5 dozen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.

Disclosure: I received a huge box of candy corn from Brach’s because they are awesome!

How to Clean Glass Bakeware

When I got my first apartment after moving out of the dorm, my parents gave me random kitchen things from their house–pots and pans, glasses, mismatched mugs, mixing bowls, and baking dishes. Over the years, I replaced everything with matching sets, but the Pyrex dishes always stayed, even after receiving sparkling new ones.

As I was rearranging my cabinets (side note: I need a lid organizer), I pulled out my old baking dishes and wondered if there was a way to get rid of the gunk from baking spray that wouldn’t come off, no matter how much I scrubbed. I quickly took to Pinterest given how effective the baking sheet cleaner was, and came across a simple hack: Magic Erasers and a little elbow grease.

Surprise, it totally worked! They really are magic!

How to Clean Glass Bakeware

I get my Magic Erasers at Costco because I use them for everything (did you know they work on tile grout too?), and I found the kitchen eraser worked best. Also, I cut mine in half since I feel like I get more control that way, and the ends get used the most.

What are your favorite uses for Magic Erasers?

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