Tuesday, August 31, 2010

No Knead Bread

Today I finished law school! I'm on my way to hand in my last paper of my degree. Tomorrow I start work as a legal intern in one of the many law firms in Tel Aviv. So why am I spending my last day of freedom in the kitchen? Because of a certain dark secret that I have: I'm terrified of going hungry at work. I can't explain it, but when tomorrow comes around I'll practically bring a whole cupboard full of food with me. 

So what's my sandwich bread of choice for tomorrow? The KAF No Knead Bread. This has got to be the easiest thing I've ever made. I love baking bread, and I love kneading dough- but really, what beats a gorgeous loaf served up after only ten minutes of hands on time? And EASY hands on time- like mixing, and putting in the oven. 

  • So heres the recipe- but check it out on the KAF blog too for step by step pics and instructions: 

  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
Mix everything together. Leave the dough out for two hours, then cover and put in the fridge for two hours or up to seven days. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450, and place a pan underneath your baking rack. Sprinkle the  top of the dough with flour and grab a hunk of it. Place on a floured surface and shape into a round (see pic above), or a loaf, or a baguette. Sprinkle with flour, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and let rest for 45 minutes. When ready to bake, slash the top of the loaf. Place in oven, and carefully pour one cup of warm water into the pan below your baking sheet. (I like to mist the loaf too). Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden.

I'm submitting this loaf to yeastspotting

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Horror Story

It was Tuesday morning. I was at a wedding last night until 2 am so it's no surprise that I made this mistake. I guess it could happen to anyone. I just didn't expect it to happen to me. 
I woke up groggy- but with one thought going through my mind- "must. bake. bread". I've had the dough all ready to go, sitting in my fridge now for a few days. Still in my pjs, I dumped the dough out and started shaping it into one large boule. I turned on the oven and made myself some coffee. 
One hour later: still kinda groggy, I slashed the loaf, and loaded it into my tiny oven. I breathed a sigh of relief that I had accomplished my morning's task. Now I could relax- "but wait! one more thing!" I thought to myself, "I have to steam the oven!" I went into the other room and grabbed my trusty spray bottle, opened the oven door, and shpritsed away like there was no tomorrow. Seconds later a sweet, familiar smell hit my nose like a punch in the face. I looked down in horror as the shock settled in.... What I was holding in my hand was WINDEX, and not water in a spray bottle. And just like that, the fate of my beautiful crusty white loaf was sealed. It was toxic. My bread was ruined. So was my morning. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010


After five years of university I can see the end coming close. It's been a long journey. I've studied hard, studied not so hard, made friends and said goodbye to some. I dated and dumped and got dumped and got married. I baked. I started a blog, and in two weeks I'm going to start work in a law firm. As the newest legal intern in the firm I imagine that I will boldly type, translate, photocopy and correlate. I will learn how to make good coffee. And somewhere along the process I will bake brownies and bring them into the office and make the other interns like me. Sounds like a good plan, eh?

With only one paper left to finish before I get my degree Doniel and I decided that now is the best time for our honeymoon. So I'll leave you with one last recipe for now- for laffot (plural form of laffa). A laffa is a thick, soft flatbread. It is traditionally baked in an oven called a taboon- small rounds of dough are slapped onto the side of the taboon and removed minutes later all cooked and puffy. It is often used as a wrap for sh'warma, and they're sold all over Israel in markets and bakeries. When I lived in Jerusalem I used to go to the shuk (market) all the time and buy one laffa for about a shekel, and some lebeneh (strained yogurt) and cusbarah (coriander) and have lunch. I miss that! 

Try serving this with some Za'atar spice- it's a delicious middle eastern spice blend made of sumac and sesame seeds, and so delicious sprinkled over the laffa as it cooks, or for dipping! Yum! Here are some links for za'atar on Amazon: 
Zahtar (Za'atar) Spice, Hoosier Hill Farm, 1lb, Green Zatar, Za'atar Seasoning - Kosher

Here's a recipe for laffa- I made them on a heated up frying pan with a tiny bit of oil and they came out fab. They were easy to make. I'm sending this off to yeastspotting

recipe from Breadman Talking (awesome bread blog!)

3½ c bread flour ?(I used all purpose)
25g (1oz) instant yeast
1½ c water
1 tbs sugar
½ tbs salt
2 tbs olive oil

1. Mix the yeast and flour in a mixer with a kneading hook. Add the water, sugar, salt, & oil and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and shiny, and slightly sticky.
(alternatively- mix by hand in a bowl, and then knead on the counter till smooth). 

2. Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Turn in the bowl to make sure it is covered in oil and cover with cling wrap and allow to rise to double its size. This will take about an hour or so.

3. Divide the dough into 6 parts, rolling each into a ball. Cover with a moist towel and leave for 10 minutes to rest.

4. Roll each ball into a disk 30- 35cm  (12 to 15 inches) across.

5. Toast with oil in a frying pan. Turn over when brown scorch marks begin to appear. Then, toast for minute. Stack the laffot, covered by a towel.