Monday, March 3, 2014

Rosemary Overnight Bread

I've been rock climbing for about 8 years now.  Sometimes I'm really good about getting to the gym (or outside) 3 or 4 times a week.  Other times, it might be months between visits, but for the most part, it's been 8 years.
This morning, I went to the gym for a quick hour of bouldering before work by myself and I don't think I've ever gotten that tired and worn out from climbing so quickly.  Usually, working out with other people pushes you harder.  You have more motivation to keep going.  Not the case in this particular situation.  What I found out is that when you climb alone, you have no one to talk to.  There's no reason to rest, because you feel like an idiot sitting alone on the pads.

Long story short, my hands and arms are tired.
Lucky for me, my friend sent me this recipe for no-knead bread!  It takes a lot of time, but it's almost all downtime.  Basically, mix together the ingredients tonight before bed and tomorrow for dinner you could be eating fresh baked, perfectly risen, golden brown-crusted bread!

p.s. This is definitely the type of recipe that you'll want to read all the way through first so you know what's coming (made that mistake!).

Recipe from Jim Lahey
3 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. yeast
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. crushed, dried rosemary
1 1/2 c. water
more flour for dusting

1.  In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, yeast, salt and rosemary.  With a wooden spoon, stir in the water (the dough will be sticky at this point).  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature overnight (at least 12 hours and up to 18 hours).  It will be ready when there are bubbles coating the top of the dough.

2.  Generously flour a clean working surface.  Move the dough onto the floured surface, dust the top of the loaf with more flour, then fold dough over onto itself 3 or 4 times.  Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes.

3.  Shape dough into a ball (it does not have to be perfect and try to handle the dough as little as possible).  It helps to flour your hands for this step so it doesn't stick.  Generously flour a clean cotton towel and place the rounded dough onto it, seem side down.  Cover with a second lightly floured towel and let rise for 2 hours. **Read step 4 now**  The dough will more than double in size.

4. A half hour before the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 350˚.  Place a large (oven-safe) stockpot in the oven while it is heating up.  When the dough is ready, remove the pot from the oven.  Turn the dough into the pot (seem will be facing up now).  Place the lid on the pot and cook for 30 minutes.  Remove lid and bake for another 15-30 minutes so the top is nicely browned.

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