Jan 28, 2013

No-Knead Bread Variation: Garlic Parmesan

I made this no-knead artisan bread variation to rave reviews for a family dinner yesterday. The garlic and cheese are a natural combo in this recipe. Of the variations I've tried so far, this is easily my favorite.

4 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon instant or rapid rising yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon dried sliced garlic (I found this at Costco)
2 cups water at about 70 degrees
Cornmeal (I usually just use flour and sometimes a little cornmeal)

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast, and salt. Then stir in the cheese, parsley, and garlic. Add the water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 14 hours, preferably about 18 to 24, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Put dough seam side down on floured work surface and dust with more flour, bran, or cornmeal. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a cotton dish towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot in the oven while it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove heated pot from the oven. Gently move the ball of dough with your hands from your work surface and drop it into the pan, seam-side up. It may look like a mess, but that is okay. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 10 to 15 minutes (Note: I often like a less dark and crunchy crust, so I'll usually tend to go on the lower side in terms of time), until loaf is beautifully browned. Remove the bread from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

Jan 16, 2013

Coconut Rice

1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon sugar
Dash of salt
1 1/2 cups uncooked jasmine rice

In a saucepan, combine coconut milk, water, sugar, and salt. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add rice. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer, 18 to 20 minutes, until rice is tender.

Jan 11, 2013

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe could not be any easier. I saw it on Pinterest initially, but it comes from Paula Deen originally, I understand. Honestly, I've never made flourless cookies like these before, and I'm amazed how they can taste like normal cookies without flour. But they do, and these cookies has a great peanut buttery flavor. The next time I make them, I may reduce the baking time a bit because I like a softer cookie, but other than that, I wouldn't change a thing.

1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large baking sheet. In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, the egg, and vanilla, and stir well with a spoon. Roll the dough into balls the size of walnuts. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. With a fork, dipped in sugar to prevent sticking, press a crisscross design on each cookie. Bake for 12 minutes, remove from the oven, and if desired, sprinkle with a little extra sugar. Cool slightly before removing from pan.