Monday, September 22, 2008

From Shame....To Shamefully Delicious

I love to cook. Cooking is a wonderful pastime, and the results are usually always worth the effort. Now on occasion, I have been told that I am a rather decent cook. {Blushing here.}

Additionally, I rather enjoy new recipes and always anticipate the ohhhh's and aaahh's that comes with each new delicious dish I make. I'm just keepin' it real here, is that not what makes cooking worth the work? It's worth it to have someone anticipate enjoying the mouth watering meals you prepare. Not to mention the praise afterwards when they are so stuffed they can not move?? Well, I tend to like that sort of thing. Really, I do.

I was contemplating making some new dishes while we were in Colorado for vacation. I decided that was a great time to try some new things, and really impress my husband. Oh and by the way, he was impressed....just keep reading.

When I first started blogging, I discovered and read about the wonderful dishes prepared by Rachael, from her blog, Head Cook and Bottle Washer. She talked about this fabulous bread and how easy it was to make. I decided I was going to make this for my husband. I planned to surprise him with fresh, hot out of the oven homemade bread dripping with butter for one of our meals in the mountains.

Well, I made this bread and we will talk about that, just keep reading.

Homemade No Knead Bread

If your ready, let's get started:

List of willing participants: Flour, fast acting yeast, kosher salt, water. Simple- No?

In a large bowl measure out 3 cups of flour.

Next, measure out 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. I could not find my measuring spoons, so I used a teaspoon...close enough.

Then, I added the 1 teaspoon of fast acting yeast. See, it's the pretty sand colored granules.

Last add the 1 1/2 cups of water. And that's it....well, almost it.

Mix well with a sturdy spoon. Mix until dough is mixed well.

This is what the ball of dough should look like. Looks promising, right?

Now, cover with saran wrap and sit on stove or warm place in your kitchen. And forget about it. Let this dough sit and do its thing all day. I left mine on the stove for 8 hours. Don't uncover it, just leave it be. No matter how tempted you are, don't bother this little batch of dough...I mean it!

After sitting on the counter all day, the dough will rise in the bowl and should look like this. Does this not look promising? At this point, you should turn your oven to 450 degrees. Heat a dutch oven with the lid on for 30 minutes. While dutch oven is heating, we will continue.

Take a cotton cloth and add about 1/2 cup flour and spread flour on cloth generously. Using a scraper, turn dough onto cloth. Using the cloth, fold sides of dough in and fold the top and bottom in, almost like folding an envelope. Flip over on the towel so the seams are on the bottom.
Once your dutch oven has heated, very carefully remove from oven. Flip dough into dutch oven with the seams on top. replace lid.

Return to oven, and bake for 20 minutes at 450 degrees with lid on. Next remove lid - Bake for an additional 15 - 20 minutes.

Now, up until this point I was super excited. The smell of fresh baked bread filled the cabin, and Steve was in the living room bragging to Paul (our mountain friend) that I was making homemade bread, and he might as well look forward to having some.
I have made cornbread at the cabin before, and Paul was a big fan of my cornbread, so I was excited he would be staying for dinner and sampling my newest creation.

This is Paul driving one of his many "toys" with Alisha last summer. He is a rather handsome mountain boy, don't you think? Sorry, I got sidetracked here....back to the bread.

Well, when I got to this stage and removed the lid, I began to worry. This did not look right at all, but I reasoned that it still had about 20 more minutes to cook. No worries. Right?

When I removed the bread from the oven, it looked no better than when I removed the lid 20 minutes earlier. In fact, this looked to me more like an old woman's shriveled up stomach, or an alien substance of some kind. Seriously, do you not see what I mean? Of course you do. Talk about losing your appetite.

This was a hard pile of goo. The outside was like a brick, I could hardly cut through it, and the inside was like day old oatmeal.
To make matters worse, Steve and Paul had wandered into the kitchen with much anticipation of piping hot bread.

Both men's raised eyebrows gave the look of utter shock and disappointment. It did not take much effort to realize the thoughts of mouth watering bread were of the past.

No words were spoken as we all stared into the pot. "Well..." I said, "I guess I did something wrong." Embarrassment and humiliation must have been written all over my face. I am not used to flubbing up something so bad that it is not edible.

Paul was quick to tell me not to worry too much, that he was "quiet sure" the altitude was the cause, not my cooking skills. He told me how his own mother has the same problem with certain types of foods, baking especially. He tried his best to make me feel better. Bless his sweet little heart. I just love that young man.

Likewise, Steve tried to make light of the situation as well..... only he went about things his own way. He sliced the bread open, with much effort I might add. Then tapped it against the dutch oven, and announced, rather loudly, to the whole side of the mountain that this was good for one thing only....

.....hurling through the air and killing chipmunks.....CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT??? He might have hurled the pile of goo through the air, but I am here to tell you, not a single chipmunk was touched. Not a one.

I have to say, I don't take defeat well at all. Especially when it comes to cooking. I knew I had followed the recipe exactly, and I could not let this one time disaster stop me from achieving my goal...making fresh homemade bread. So I came home, followed the recipe, and this time, the results were different.

Hot right out of the oven, just look how wonderful this loaf came out. Exactly the way it should be.

This bread has a crusty outside and inside has a wonderful, soft texture. It really reminds me of homemade sourdough bread. The flavor is fantastic.

All you need to do is add a little butter, and your taste buds will thank you. This bread taste like you worked all day, but really, it's hardly any work to making this at all.

Cooking is an acquired skill, I don't care what anyone tells you. Sometimes, things do not always turn out the way you think they will. That was certainly the case with me trying a new recipe in my kitchen in the mountains. I guess, or I'm hoping Paul was right, the altitude made the difference in how this turned out....or didn't.

I totally forgot to take the altitude into consideration when I made my big plans to impress everyone with my baking skills. Thanks Rachael, at Head Cook and Bottle Washer for posting this recipe. The final result at home was wonderful, just as you promised.

The bread was mouth-watering goodness. And I feel like I have redeemed myself - at least a little bit. Thankfully, this time Steve was not shouting about "weapons of mass destruction" coming from my kitchen, he was too busy sampling this bread, which met with his approval. Not to mention, this gave me a great story to tell. I'm sure those who know me personally, got a few laughs at my expense. Once again, here is the recipe sure and take the time to try this. You will be glad you did.

No Knead Homemade Bread:
3 cups. flour
1 1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon rapid acting yeast
1 teaspoon kosher salt

In the morning, mix all in large bowl. Cover with saran wrap and leave out all day in a warm place. Turn oven to 450 degrees and heat dutch oven and lid. Using a cotton cloth, add about 1/2 cup flour, using a scraper, turn dough out onto cloth. Fold sides and top and bottom, like an envelope. Turn over so sides are on the bottom. Remove dutch oven from oven, and turn dough into pan. Seams up. Replace lid, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove lid. Bake an additional 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Makes one loaf.


  1. As always you are so sweet. I am so glad the bread turned out they perfect way. I am now doublng the recipe and allowing it to cook a bit longer in the oven at 400 degress and it is turning out well. Hey check your email as well I sent on and it bounced back...
    Everyone try the bread and impress those around you!!!!

  2. 2commentI LOVE HOT BREAD! Why wasn't I invited for a slice? Yes, I can vouch, she is a super good cook.

  3. I am sending you emails and your box is sending them back...weird...I am getting yours with no issue. Don't know what to do next....

  4. Cute story--made me laugh out loud! Anyone that cooks a lot has their own story to tell! The bread looks delish--LOVE fresh bread straight out of the oven!!!

  5. like an old woman's shriveled up stomach

    haha ugh.

    the end result (of the second try) does look delish though!! mmmm

  6. That recipe was making the rounds on some blogs before and I've always wanted to try it. I'm glad the second batch turned out so good. It looks yummy!

  7. Well, I hate to compare my stomach to your bread--but it looked close-ha! I'm sure it had something to do with the altitude--at least that is what I have always heard that it does make a difference----because I have never known anything you have done not to turn out right--you could be Martha Stewart II (In talents and abilities only-she has nothing on you!!!


Sometimes someone says something really small, and it's like it fits into this empty space in your heart!

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your thoughts here, they really mean a lot to me!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...