Tuesday, August 24, 2010

no-knead bread

There is nothing better than freshly baked bread with melting butter and home made jam.  Last summer, I had made loads of jam and was itching to make some bread at home to accompany it.  I had asked my friend and fellow blogger Cheryl (Backseat Gourmet) to recommend something easy and she suggested a no-knead recipe posted on Julie's website (Dinner with Julie).  This is the easiest recipe ever and it makes the most delicious bread.  All you need to do is mix it and forget about it - for 24 hours anyway.  I have made this so many times, and it is one of those no-fail recipes.  Try it - your friends will think you're a star!

No-Knead Bread
From Dinner with Julie

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl stir together the flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a plate and let it rest on the countertop for 18-24 hours at room temperature.

The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice, then roughly shape into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour. Fold it over the bread or cover with another cotton towel and let it sit for another hour or two.

While the bread is resting, preheat the oven to 450°. Put a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and flip the dough over into the pot; it may look like a mess, but that’s OK. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake another 10-15 minutes, until it’s nice and golden. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

chana bateta

It was quite the week last week, even though I had it off!  My parents had gone away with the family for the week and since I had no childcare, I was lucky enough to spend the week with my toddler.   I thought that I would be able to update this blog every couple of days, completely forgetting how much attention little ones need.  We enjoyed our week with playdates and trips to the zoo and I even managed to do some experimenting in the kitchen.

This is a dish that I have eaten since childhood, called Chana Bateta.  Literally, it translates to "Chickpeas and Potatoes".  I would consider this as more of a soup or a stew than a curry as it is not eaten with rice or a bread, like naan or chopati.  It is eaten with a spoon, topped with the indian snack Chevdo, or what I prefer, potato chips!  If you have some tamarind chutney, add a bit of that too.  I couldn't believe how easy this vegetarian recipe was to make, 20 minutes and it was ready to serve. 

Chana Bateta

1/2 tsp mustard seeds
3 curry leaves
2 TB gram flour
1 large can of plum tomatoes, blended + 1 TB of its liquid
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 medium potatoes, boiled and cubed
1 large can of chick peas
1 cup water
3 TB lemon juice

Heat the oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and curry leaves.  When the seeds start to pop, add the gram flour and cook for a few minutes.  Add the tomotoes and cook for another five minutes.  Add the turmeric and some red chili powder next.  Mix and add the chickpeas, water, lemon juice and salt and cook for 10 minutes. 
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