Sunday, June 24, 2012

Swim Meet

Two of  our grandsons are on the same swim team.  Yesterday Dad and I decided to go watch.  It was perfect weather and we were in the shade the whole time.

We had a great day.

Monday, June 18, 2012

No Knead Bread

My son Sid Jr sent me this recipe for No-Knead Bread.  It turned out pretty good.  Very easy.

3 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (such as Fleischmann's RapidRise brand
2 1/2 teaspoons salt, or more to taste
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons tepid water
* Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt.  Add the water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and very sticky.

 Cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferable about 18 hours, at warm room temperature. 

Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles.
Turn dough out on a light floured work surface; sprinkle dough with a little more flour, and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously dust a cotton ( not terry cloth){ I used parchment paper} kitchen towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal.  Cover with another kitchen towel and let rise for 2 to 3 hours.  When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

At least 30 minutes before dough is ready, preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Put a heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic; anywhere from 3 1/2 quarts to 6 or 8 quarts) {I used my stoneware} in oven as it heats.  When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven.  Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that's OK.  Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.  Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until load is nicely browned.  Cool on rack.
Note:  Don't skip the preheating of the pot; it helps create steam and ensures a chewy, artisan-style crust.

It is quite tasty.  The crust is tough but the bread is chewy and great for dipping.  I'm going to try it with half whole wheat and maybe get adventuresome and try it with rye flour.  You can fold in fresh herbs or olives also.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mt Vernon Field Trip

Tuesday I went with Stevie's 4th grade class to George Washington's Mount Vernon as a chaperon.  I had a great time.  It was cool weather and just gorgeous everywhere we went.

 Just starting out in the school bus.
I forgot how noisy it can be on a bus. 

 At the wharf

 Our tour guide

 George Washington planted this tree in 1783