Friday, May 7, 2010

Everything is blooming - even the weeds

grape hyacinths under the crabapple
The crabapple. We missed its most brilliant shade of pink, but its still pretty impressive.
The neighbor's apple tree. It will produce little green apples that Vlad will eat.

We had the tiniest sprinkle of snow this morning, but now it's totally gorgeous out. I'm trying to make a habit of doing at least one quick round of yard work every nice day - more because I want to get out in the nice day than because of the yardwork, though of course there is plenty to do!

I haven't quite conquered the no-knead bread. It just doesn't rise enough to suit me. Summer temps will prove whether it does better if it's warmer, which should give me an idea if it's worth it to do longer rises when it's cool. But it IS super super easy - it was great to have a batch sitting in the fridge when the dogs stole the last loaf of bread - new bread in just a few more hours, with almost no effort.

Working Version of No-Knead Bread (adapted from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day)
3 c lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tblsp yeast
3/4 c dry milk
1 c whole wheat flour
5 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 Tblsp coarse salt OR 2 tsp table salt

Makes 4 lbs. Can make a half recipe. Stir it all together in a bowl you can cover. Stir til all the flour gets integrated. Let it rise, covered, for 2 or 3 hours, then either shape for baking or refrigerate (covered). The book says it can stay in the fridge up to 14 days - I think it goes gross after about 7.

Use 1 1/2 lbs to make a loaf. Let rise 40 minutes if still warm, about an hour and 40 minutes if just out of the fridge. Bake for 35 minutes at 400 degrees.

It makes pretty good pitas - preheat the oven to 500, grab a handful and roll it out to about 1/8" thick - I think I need to err on the side of thicker, the thinner ones were tougher. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, put them straight from the oven into a big ziploc to get them to soften up.

Off to use up the last of the most recent batch. I've got a weird little bit left that I think I'll roll out and fill with chocolate chips to bake. Also it's time to feed the sourdough starter, so pizza for dinner. And I better not forget to spend some time outside!

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