The Easiest No-Knead Bread

Easy No-Knead Bread | marissabaker.wordpress.comMy new favorite bread recipe comes from alexandracooks.com. Be sure to click over there and visit her recipe, since she has lots of tips for making this turn out just-right, as well as several variations that I haven’t tried working with yet. What I’m posting today focuses on making one peasant loaf and one faux focaccia loaf.

This bread is incredible easy to make, but you do have to plan ahead. I need about three hours between the time you start the bread to the time when you can eat it.

Announcement: I’m planning some changes to this blog to focus on providing more useful resources for my readers. My posts on type psychology have been the ones people consistently comment on as being the most helpful, so I want to focus on that while continuing to write my Christian articles and introducing homeschooling resources for teaching high-school English. With all these changes, I’m most likely going to be phasing-out these weekly recipe posts or moving them to a different blogging platform (unless you all REALLY want me to keep them, in which case they’ll probably be less frequent).

Easy No-Knead Bread

2 cups lukewarm water (110–120° F)

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons active-dry yeast

4 cups flour (3 cups all-purpose, 1 cup whole wheat)

2 teaspoons salt

room temperature butter, about 1 tablespoon

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/8 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon parsley

1 clove garlic, diced

coarse sea salt

Dissolve the sugar into the water in a small mixing bowl or glass measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over top, then let it stand for about 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture is foamy.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Once the yeast mixture is foamy, stir it up. Mix the yeast mixture into the flour until it forms a soft dough.

Easy No-Knead Bread | marissabaker.wordpress.com
before rising

Cover the bowl with a tea towel run under hot water and rung out so it is slightly damp. Set it aside in a warm spot to rise for about one-and-a-half hours.

Easy No-Knead Bread | marissabaker.wordpress.com
after rising

Grease one oven-safe bowl or a medium casserole dish and one 9-inch by 9-inch baking dish. Use 1/2 tablespoon of butter for each. Using two forks, punch down the dough and scrape it from the sides of the bowl, turning the dough over on itself. Using the two forks, pull the dough apart into the equal portions and then scoop one into each baking dish.

Easy No-Knead Bread | marissabaker.wordpress.com
dividing the dough

The peasant loaf, the one in the bowl or casserole dish, is now done. For the faux focaccia, mix 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon parsley, and 1 clove diced garlic. Spread the dough out with your fingers to fit the shape of the pan, then dip your fingers in the olive oil mixture and press the top of the dough to make dimples in the surface. Spread the remainder of the olive oil mixture on top of the bread, and then sprinkle the top with coarse sea salt.

Easy No-Knead Bread | marissabaker.wordpress.com
right before the second rising

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Let the dough rise for about 20 to 30 minutes, then bake for 12 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375ºF and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the loaves onto cooling racks.

Easy No-Knead Bread | marissabaker.wordpress.com
cooling

Brush the top of the peasant loaf with butter. Let the loaves cool for about 10 minutes before cutting.

Easy No-Knead Bread | marissabaker.wordpress.com
aren’t they lovely?

 

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Snickerdoodle Blondies

Snickerdoodle Blondies | marissabaker.wordpress.comI tried a couple recipes for snickerdoodle bars or blondies before finding this one from Six Sisters Stuff. It’s so good! I still prefer the actual snickerdoodle cookies, but this is a very tasty bar form that takes much less time to make since the dough doesn’t need chilled and you bake the whole thing at once.

Snickerdoodle Blondies

Snickerdoodle Blondies | marissabaker.wordpress.com1 cup butter, room temperature

2 cups packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 Tablespoon vanilla

2 2/3 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

Topping

2 Tablespoon white sugar

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine the butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl by hand or with an electric mixer. Stir in dry ingredients.

Snickerdoodle Blondies | marissabaker.wordpress.comSpread batter in a greased 13×9-inch baking pan. In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon topping ingredients, then sprinkle over the top of the batter.

Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until top springs back when pressed.

Snickerdoodle Blondies | marissabaker.wordpress.com

What to do with Zucchini?

It’s the Great Garden question — what do I do with all that zucchini taking over my garden? It seems to grow overnight. One moment it’s shorter than the length of my hand and the next moment it’s the size of a baseball bat. I usually stir-fry zucchini or turn it into bread (see recipe here), but I needed more options. So I turned to the ever-trusty Google for answers and found several recipes to try.

Do you have any favorite zucchini recipes to share? Link them in the comments below 🙂

Zucchini Recipes

Zucchini Muffins from Simply Recipe  is the first of these zucchini recipes that I tried. They have a really good flavor  — love the cinnamon and nutmeg. They’re neither too dry nor too moist. We had a Lord of the Rings-like conversation here when my mother, sister, and I were talking about how filling these muffins were and my brother got this guilty Hobbit-ish look on his face and said, “I’ve had three.”

Verdict: This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Roast Carrots and Zucchini “Fries” from Voracious Veggie. This is the very best way to cook carrots. They’re healthy and taste like candy. Since we like them so well, we thought we’d follow this blogger’s suggestion and cook zucchini the same way. Maybe I did something wrong, but they were gross. Soft, squishy, slimey — the texture was so bad I couldn’t even tell you if the taste was any good.

Verdict: keep the carrots, toss the zucchini

Zucchini Pistou from Baked Bree uses as it’s base a French version of pesto made with zucchini  as well as basil. It caught my attention because Bree’s pictures are so gorgeous. Mine didn’t look much like this (for one thing I ran out of basil and used walnuts instead of pine nuts in the pistou), but it had a pretty good flavor.

Verdict: I cooked too much pasta, which spread the sauce around too much, so I plan to try this one again and see if I can get it right.

Julia Child’s Zucchini Tian. This one is still on my to-do list. It’s doesn’t look hard, just a bit time consuming. I’m sure anything baked in that much cheese has to taste good, though 🙂

 

Summer Cheesecake Bars

I’m re-sharing two recipes today that I’ve already posted because they’re just way too tasty to only share once. I’ve been making these fruit cheesecake bars for most of our get-together this summer, and they’re always popular. Both need fresh fruit, so this is the best time of the year to plan on enjoying them.

Peach Cheesecake Squares | marissabaker.wordpress.com
Click here to visit the recipe page for Peach Cheesecake Squares

 

Lemon-Blueberry Cheesecake Bars | marissabaker.wordpress.com
Click here to visit the recipe page for Lemon-Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

Teriyaki Chicken-Rice Bake

Teriyaki Chicken-Rice Bake | marissabaker.wordpress.comThis recipe was originally the Teriyaki Chicken Casserole from ohsweetbasil.com. She starts with the fried-rice already made according to another recipe on her site, but I’ve formatted the recipe presented here so you can make it all at once (I’ve also changed some ingredients for everything except the sauce). You don’t even need to use day-old rice, like for most fried rice recipes.

Teriyaki Chicken-Rice Bake

print this recipe

Teriyaki Chicken-Rice Bake | marissabaker.wordpress.com
finished sauce with chicken

Teriyaki sauce

3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon honey

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 small garlic clove, minced fine

2 tablespoons tapioca starch

2 tablespoons cold water

In a medium saucepan, stir together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, honey, ground ginger, sesame oil, and garlic. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute.

In a small bowl, stir together the water and cornstarch. Add 1 teaspoon of the hot soy mixture to the cornstarch mixture and then slowly pour everything into the boiling soy mixture, whisking until it begins to thicken. Set aside.

Teriyaki Chicken-Rice Bake | marissabaker.wordpress.com
ingredients

Rice

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

1 Tablespoon rice wine

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon white sugar

1/8 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 eggs

3 cups cooked jasmine rice

1 Tablespoon sesame oil

Olive Oil cooking spray

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, ginger and crushed red pepper. Set aside. Spray wok with olive oil and bring to medium heat. Lightly whisk together the eggs and add to the pan. Let it cook until set, flipping or stirring as needed to keep from burning. Removed eggs form the wok and cut them up.

Add sesame oil to wok. Add the rice, cooking until hot and the rice is beginning to pop. Add the sauce mixture, stirring to combine. Add the eggs, and stir until heated through.

Teriyaki Chicken-Rice Bake | marissabaker.wordpress.com
finished rice

Casserole

Teriyaki Chicken-Rice Bake | marissabaker.wordpress.com
shredding the chicken

2 chicken breasts

2-3 carrots

1 head broccoli

10 snow peas

Place the chicken in an 8×8-in. baking dish and pour 1 cup of the teriyaki sauce over the chicken. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F. Remove from the oven and shred.

Cut up and steam the vegetables. Place rice, chicken, and vegetables in a 9×13-in. baking dish. Add 3 tablespoons of the leftover teriyaki sauce and stir to combine. Place the dish back in the oven for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and drizzle with a little more sauce. Serve immediately.

Teriyaki Chicken-Rice Bake | marissabaker.wordpress.com
before baking

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Roasted Carrot Sticks

Roasted Carrot Sticks recipe marissabaker.wordpress.comI found this recipe described as “The Best Way to Cook Zucchini and Carrots” on a blog called Voracious Veggie. I haven’t had a zucchini yet to try it on, but my whole family agrees this is the best way to eat cooked carrots. I make the “Asian seasoned” ones as a side dish every time we have Korean Beef, and they also go well with my Thai-Peanut Chicken if the carrots in the sauce aren’t enough vegetable for you. You can vary the spices to match just about anything, so they are versatile as well as easy to make.

Roasted Carrot Sticks

Roasted Carrot Sticks recipe marissabaker.wordpress.com1 pound raw carrots

olive oil

salt and pepper

desired seasonings (see below)

Slice carrots into2 to 3 inch sticks of even thickness. Spread a light layer of olive oil on the bottom of a baking tray. Toss carrots, salt, pepper, and desired spices in the olive oil, then spread them out evenly in the pan.

Roast at 425°F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and toss. Return to oven and cook another 10-15 minutes, or until carrots are tender.Roasted Carrot Sticks recipe marissabaker.wordpress.com

Seasonings
I vary the spices I use depending on what I’m cooking with the carrots. Ideas include paprika, cumin, cayenne, crushed red peppers, thyme, rosemary, sage, or a premixed spice blend.
Asian: garlic, ginger, cayenneRoasted Carrot Sticks recipe marissabaker.wordpress.com