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Archive for the ‘Bread’ Category

Battle of the No-Knead Breads

bread2 The much-vaunted No-Knead Bread by Jim Lahey.

Awesome: check
Easy: check
Crispy crust: check
Taste: not so check

I think we’ve all made this bread by now and it is admittedly good. Better than the $6 loaf at the local bakery, that’s for sure. But is it the best, easiest no-knead bread out there?

Nope. Sure isn’t.

At least my family doesn’t think so.

bread3 Granted, it’s perfectly crispy on the outside, airy and delicious on the inside, but to me it lacked a little flavor and the work that went into it (yeah, yeah, most of the work was waiting) made me end up a little less than thrilled with the final product.

Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t like how wet the dough was, I got irritated at it a few times, worried it was going to bomb and truth be told, I’m a Gen-X’er, I pretty much demand instant gratification in my life.

fourbread And then there is this. Gorgeous crust, flavorful inside, amazing smell, great taste, I could go on and on. I’m pretty sure the owner of the website where I found this miracle recipe is close to getting a restraining order against me. Something about stalking. Whatev.

A super simple, 5 HOUR version of the two day no-knead bread. Cue singing angels now.

We love this bread, especially with fresh, homemade butter slathered all over it. Mmmm, butter.

furbread The recipe is nearly the same as the original bread. Flour, yeast, salt, water. Simple. An increase in the amount of yeast is what cuts so much of the rise time. I use warm water when I mix it, just to be on the safe side. Since it’s been FREEZING in my house lately, I’ve warmed the oven for 30 seconds or so before putting the bread in for the first rise. For the proof stage I’ve been heating a wood cutting board in the oven for a minute or two before putting the dough on it. So far, so good.

I’ve also let it rise way longer than I’m supposed to (shoes. distracted. forgot bread) and didn’t have a problem.

For somewhere around a buck a loaf, this bread has become a staple at our dinner table. Few things are as instantly satisfying as the smell of fresh bread, my family gathered around the dinner table and the beautiful silence that comes with having them stuff bread down their endlessly yapping little kid mouths. Silence is bliss, and so is fresh bread.

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Cranberry Lemon Bread

lem11 I bought a bag of cranberries for chewy granola bar things and only used half of it so I needed to find another use. Ta-Da, lemon cranberry bread. Simple, quick and soo good with a lemon glaze. I just used a basic quick bread recipe, increased the sugar a bit and added lemon and cranberry. Topped off with an extra easy lemon glaze and it was perfect.

Cranberry Lemon Glazed Bread

5 Tbsp. butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 cups sifted flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1 cup cranberries

Glaze: 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1 cup powdered sugar

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and lemon juice. Sift dry ingredients; add alternately to egg mixture with milk. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Coat with glaze.

lem3

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