Friday, May 27, 2011
Raisin Pecan No-Knead Bread (and a blog name change)
Alfred is a huge fan of bread, so (being the loving wife that I am) I bake him a loaf once a week. His favorite bread is a wheat loaf based on Jim Lahey's famous no-knead recipe. It happens to be the easiest bread recipe imaginable. The dough's long rise yields a slightly sourdough like flavor with an airy, chewy crumb. He loves this bread plain, with jam or honey, and he uses it to make sandwiches. Recently I tinkered with it by adding some raisins, cinnamon, and toasted pecans to the dough. He enjoyed it for breakfast and dessert everyday until it was gone - it seems this new version was pretty tasty. So, whether you are new to baking or an old pro, I encourage you to give this simple bread a try (with or without the raisins and nuts), I think you will really enjoy it.
I also want to share a great quote I recently came across in the revised edition of Amy's Bread Cookbook:
Bread goes to the very roots of life, and its ingredients are the most elemental. Rain, sunshine, and healthy soil to grow the wheat; human hands to harvest, mill, and turn the grain to flour; water captured in reservoirs, which moistens the flour; yeast, which occurs naturally around us fermenting fruits and starches; and salt from the earth and the sea are the basic ingredients. These along with the warmth of the bakers hands, his or her strength, skill, and passion, and a fiery hearth, are all that are needed to make this simple yet incredible food. (From the Preface)
Raisin Pecan Bread
2 Cups Unbleached Bread Flour (you can also use all-purpose, but it won't be quite as chewy)
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 teaspoon active dry Yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons Sea Salt
2 teaspoons of Cinnamon
1 1/2 Cups of Water
1 Cup of Raisins
1/2 Cup Pecans, chopped and toasted
Oil and wheat bran or cornmeal for coating the pan.
1) In a large glass bowl, combine the flours, yeast, salt, cinnamon, and water (a sturdy wooden spoon is good for this). Once the ingredients are thoroughly combined, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for 12-18 hours - I mix it up the afternoon before I want to bake it and the dough is ready to go the next morning.
2) After the 12-18 hours has elapsed, uncover the dough and stir in the raisins and nuts (you make need to use your hands). Cover it again and let it rise for 1 1/2 hours.
3) 30 minutes before you are ready to bake the bread, place an 8-10 inch cast iron skillet in the middle of the oven (cast iron is best, but you can use a metal cake pan if you don't have cast iron), place a small baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven, and heat the oven to 450 degrees.
4) After 30 minutes, remove the hot skillet/pan from the oven, brush it with oil and coat it thoroughly with wheat bran or cornmeal. Pour the dough into the hot skillet/pan, if need be shake the skillet/pan a little so the dough is evenly distributed. Return the skillet/pan to the oven and pour 1 cup of hot water into the baking sheet at the bottom of the oven (be careful it will instantly produce very hot steam). Quickly close the oven and let the bread bake 30-35 minutes, until the loaf is lightly golden on the top.
5) Remove the bread from the skillet/pan and let it cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing. Enjoy!
*I also want to acknowledge that this is the blog formerly known as "The Delshad Duo." For a number of reasons we decided to change the title (and correspondingly the URL), but you can expect the recipes and style of the blog to remain the same. We hope you will continue to follow us, your support is a great encouragement to us!
As usual, I've included this post as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays , Making Monday Marvelous, Just Something I Whipped Up, My Meatless Mondays, Just Another Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays , Tuesdays at the Table, Real Food Wednesdays, Whatcha Makin' Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Foodie, Friday Favorites, Foodie Friday, Funky Fresh Friday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Sweets for a Saturday, and Nifty Thrifty Sunday.Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!