If you've never been introduced to Mark Bittman you're really missing out.
The man is a food critic and columnist with the New York Times. He calls himself and his column "The Minimalist". His cookbook series "How to Cook Anything" is a great gift idea for the beginning cook - heck, I like to read them myself!
I first saw him on his show "Bittman Takes on America's Chefs". Bittman would go to a restaurant and a famous chef would show us how to make one of his signature dishes. Then, with much ado and kibitzing, Bittman would take the challenge to make the same dish, but with ingredients that the typical home cook would have access to, and to prepare the food in a way that the average cook could actually copy at home. It was great fun!
He also has a three to five minute video clip each week that shows wonderful food, easily prepared. I love his stuff. Try this one!
Now, why am I telling you this? Because one of the things that Bittman espouses is a great way to make a delicious loaf of bread without the work. It's called "No Knead Bread" and it replaces kneading with 12 to 18 hours of fermenting time.
I've decided today is the day to put this bread to the test. I abhor white balloon bread and I'm tired of paying the price for a good loaf of ciabatta, so I'm taking the plunge.
The one thing standing in my way - you bake this bread, in the oven, in a preheated heavy covered casserole. The steam that is held inside the casserole is the key to the amazing crust that the loaf develops. However, all I have are dutch ovens, and I'm not sure I want to sacrifice my nicely seasoned surface for a loaf bread. *grumble* Decisions, decisions...
I'll let you know how it comes out.
In the meantime, watch this for more information.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Blathering by Heather at 2:24 PM