Another no knead bread. This time made with a mix of spelt flour and wheat flower. It tastes very good and these kind of no knead breads are so easy to make that I can’t believe it that I haven’t done this before:
First I mix 430 grams of wheat with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast in a bowl and then add 345 grams of lukewarm water and mix everything. It needs to be sticky.
I put the dough in another bowl rubbed with a bit of olive oil, cover it with foil and leave it for at least 12 hours.
I clean and flour a surface and take the dough out of the bowl and stretch and fold it and leave it for about 45 minutes. I tried a second rise for 2 hours once, but that did not provide me with a better loaf of bread. According to the books you should do that.
After folding I preheat the oven to 250 degrees Celsius with the pot in it. Use an oven thermometer to check as the heat is important. I use a Pyrex glass casserole with a lid for baking.
After preheating the oven I put the dough in the casserole and bake for 30 minutes with the lid on top, then I remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes and take it our of the oven to let it cool down for 30 minutes. It is important to let it cool down as the bread will still develop. You can hear the sound of the crust cracking when it cools.
Most of the time I do the preparation early in the evening and bake the bread the next day.
So far I am really enjoying this new book by food writer Michael Pollan. Of course I should not read about cooking, but spend the time in the kitchen cooking myself. I am still reading the part about barbecue as this is where it starts. Cooking originated by using fire to transform animals into something more nutritious and digestible.
I never barbecue myself as I live in an apartment building where open fire is strictly forbidden even if you have a terrace like we do. Our neighbor is an Australian and they have this giant outdoor kitchen, but it uses propane.
My best barbecue experience was when I was in South Africa for a consulting job. I was invited for a family barbecue. The host picked me up from the hotel and first we went shopping. We bought meat and biltong to have something to chew on while waiting for the food to be cooked. I bought some wine to bring and then we went to a place where you could buy wood. In South Africa they will never ever use charcoal like we do. It took my host forever to select the right wood and then we went to his house. I was introduced to his family and his son started cooking. While waiting we drank brandy and coke, another tradition in South Africa, and ate biltong. When the food was served it was the most delicious meat I ever tasted. Tasty, tender and juicy.
Mediamatic keeps surprising us with their projects. Since there is a huge overload of onions in The Netherlands, Mediamatic rescued a quarter of a million of them. This weekend you can grab onions for free at the Mediamatic Fabriek.
Today I bought a copy of The Family Meal, a cookbook with meals that were served to the staff of the famous restaurant El Bulli that closed last summer. I haven’t made any of the recipes yet, but I really like the way the book is organized. It also contains great pictures. The recipes are explained using pictures rather than words. Some courses are very straightforward, but isn’t that what we need most of the time?
Last night we went to see the movie El Bulli: Cooking in Progress about the famous restaurant El Bulli whose chef Ferran Adrià is considered one of the most innovative chefs in the world. It is a very fascinating movie about a great bunch of people who create extraordinary food. The documentary follows the team starting from the six months research until the final menu when the restaurant is in full operation. I love the way their menu combines simplicity (a cocktail made of oil and water) with complexity.
The café chain now has three ‘Panera Cares’ locations where people pay as much or little as they can afford. After one year, the idea seems to be working. ‘People … do the right thing,’ says the company’s founder.
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