Best Bread Ever!

I’ve been baking bread for a while now.  My usual recipe is the 5 minute a day bread, which works out wonderfully.  The only problem I’ve had is that after the bread cools, I lose the crispy crust that I long for.

Tony happened to be flipping channels yesterday and said he stopped in his tracks when he saw America’s Test Kitchens eating this crunchy bread.  The secret? Super hot oven, and it bakes in a dutch oven for 30 minutes with the lid on.  I imagine this steams the bread and the last 20 minutes gives it this amazing crust!

Almost No-Knead Bread (courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen)
  • 3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 3/4 cup (7 ounces) water, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (3 ounces) beer
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

Whisk flour, years, and salt in large bowl.  Add water, beer and vinegar.  Using a wooden spoon, fold the mixture incorporating all of the flour.  It will be a slightly sticky dough.  Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for at least 8 hours, or up to 18 hours.

Put parchment paper on counter.  Take the dough out of the bowl and knead 10 to 15 times with a bit of flour.  Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 2 more hours.

For the last 30 minutes of the rising, heat oven to 500 degrees – putting your dutch oven in the oven with the lid.  After 30 minutes, reduce heat to 425 and using the parchment paper, carry your dough to the dutch oven – the parchment paper will be on the sides of the pan, just put the cover on and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the lid and cook an additional 20 minutes.   Tony and I were kind of worried that seemed like a long time, but it was absolute perfection!

this is how it looked after rising about 15 hours or so

here's how it looks after kneading it about 10 times - resting on the parchment paper - I scored it with a knife before putting it in the oven

here's how it looked after 30 minutes - lid removed

This is so delicious!

look at the glorious crust!

I waited all of about 5 minutes before cutting it open - I put some butter on a piece and Tony and I tasted it at the same time

Best part? Tony said it was the best bread he’s ever had!  He said “this is like bakery bread!”  Love it! :D

Then we were off to grocery shop – I did great!

On the menu (remember breakfast and lunch is just me!):

Breakfasts:

  • cranberry oatmeal with smoked almonds
  • green eggs and ham frittata
  • spicy oats with bacon and cheese
  • egg sammie with fruit
  • breakfast pizza on a pita

Lunches:

  • Buffalo Chicken Soup
  • Chicken Tacos with black beans and asparagus guacamole
  • Baked Potato with Chili and cheese (becoming a favorite for me!)
  • Falafels with tzatziki sauce
  • Shrimp Stir Fry

Dinners:

  • Soup and Sandwiches
  • Greek Chicken with Rosemary Potatoes
  • Pot Roast with garlic mashed potatoes and green beans
  • Chicken enchiladas
  • Spinach lasagna (only half will have spinach Tony!)
  • Sirloin steak with Pomme Frites

We had thoughts of going to grab something to eat when Tony said “we still have those good hot dogs at home.”  Thus hot dogs with cheese fries was born!

these are all beef hot dogs from Oscar Meyer - 220 calories each but worth every calorie!

Then we fried Ore Ida crinkle cut fries.  We decided they looked naked by themselves:

see? they are so naked!

So I heated up the last of the queso I made.

still missing something though!

bacon makes everything better!

We ate lunch so late that neither of us were hungry for dinner.  Until about 9:00, I finally got hungry and made us a plate of nachos – I had a picture of it, but somehow my computer ate it!

Needless to say, 50% of my calories were from fat yesterday – but because of all the exercise I did, I am down 1.8 for the week! I don’t plan on weighing in again until April 1st.  My goal is to be 159 by then.

Off to jump in the shower and put my food together for the day.  Happy Monday! :D

Oh, and check out Shelley’s 1st 5k recap!  I knew she would do great!!