Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What's Cooking Wednesday: Why I Love Mark Bittman



Please go to The Fairy Blogmother for more What's Cooking Wednesday participants.

I've long been a fan of Mark Bittman. D wanted to "learn" cooking some time ago and I got him Bittman's How to Cook Everything for his birthday. D hasn't used it much, but I have. Constantly.

The one area where he leaves me somewhat cold is baking. I haven't had the best success with his various baking recipes, so when his "No-Knead Bread" was tearing up the internet, I was skeptical.

I also often don't have the planning time to put dough in the fridge for a day or two. I wanted something where my boys could eat bread and then I could make some more. Quickly.

Well, another issue I had with it was it called for a dutch oven, and I believed I needed a cast iron dutch oven, which is something I don't own. A more savvy friend told me, however, that an enameled dutch oven was just fine, as long as the cast iron was underneath. It was. And a love affair was born.

The gorgeous photo will have to wait for later, as I forgot to take pictures with my last loaf, and my current loaf is rising as I write this.

Suffice it to say that we now have gorgeous loaves of tangy, artisan bread for a mere $1.67 for 16 BIG slices. Suffice it to say, I couldn't be happier.

Want in on the goodness? Go here (and you can also find the gorgeous photos that I didn't supply this week).

NOTE: Do NOT try the whole wheat recipe - it doesn't seem to work that well. I'm still working on a no-knead recipe for decent whole wheat bread - if you have any ideas, please let me know.

Happy Wednesday!

Oh... and for my calorie-counting friends, here's the nutritional info, provided by sparkrecipes.com:

Fat: 1.1g
Carbohydrates: 18.1g
Calories:94.2
Protein: 2.6g

A serving = 1/16th of the loaf. It's a decent sized serving.

30 comments:

Brittany Noel said...

I've still never tried to make bread. Wait no, I made banana nut and also cranberry bread my freshman year when Eric and I were wooing each other. His mom was impressed! Haha! But not really artisan kneading takes hours bread. This recipe sounds great.

Luisa Perkins said...

I'll be eagerly awaiting your whole wheat no-knead recipe; until then, it's all bread machine, all the time.

Núria said...

I don't dare to bake my own bread... but I wish I did... maybe one day soon :D

By the way, I saw one banana&walnut bread at La Cocina de Nathan which looks easy and simple!

Amy said...

I've never tried a no-rise bread. Usually, when I make bread, I make it in the morning, put it in the fridge to rise all day, let it do it's second rise in the bread pans in the afternoon, bake and eat.

Never tried a no-rise bread. Will have to give it a shot one of these days.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Brittany - this one is so easy it's unreal.

Luisa - hopefully I'll have it ready by next week - if my back holds up.

Nuria - you MUST try this - it's so easy! The only question is, do you have bread flour in Spain?

Amy - this was no-knead, not no-rise. ;-) It's similar to yours, except without the refrigerator part. It's so easy and this makes a really crispy crust, with a sourdough-like interior.

Momisodes said...

I've been experimenting with bread for the past 2 years, and I would LOVE to try the no-knead recipe. I just clicked over, and it seems simple enough. I'll have to try it! Thank you.

Goofball said...

yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah Jenn is still blogging!


what's a dutch oven?

mlle noëlle said...

I guess great minds think alike :) Actually Alex at the Hungry Masses blogged about this not too long ago too. How is the Bittman recipe different?

I used my enameled Le Creuset dutch oven and it was fine, I didn't have to use any cast iron. The loaf comes right out, you don't have to grease it or anything.

Goofball said...

aaah Le Creuset cast iron pots are "Dutch ovens"? Hmm that has a French association in my mind, really not a Dutch one.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Momisodes, I love this recipe. It's really easy and it makes great, tangy French bread.

Goofball - no, it's a shape, not the enameled Le Creuset type - it tends to be round with a lid, and sometimes a handle, as well. They were designed for hearth cooking and used first by the Dutch in the 1600s.

Noelle - that's what I use, too. I've been behind on blog reading. I think I remember Alex's post, though. I just needed something for What's Cooking Wednesday - I've been cooking a lot, but forgetting pictures and now I've thrown my back out, so I'm not very ambitious. ;-)

Alex Elliot said...

Alright I'm going to have to try this. I did make my own rolls for Christmas and I was surprised by how easy they were.

glamah16 said...

I have yet to find a whole wheat recipe for bread I really like. I havent given up. Wish I could see your photos. Hope all is well. I feel like Im missing lots of posts but you are just as preoccupied as me.

peter said...

I've found that up to 30% whole wheat doesn't effect the result, and makes for richer flavor and better nutrition. But I'm using a variant recipe, courtesy of a friend's blog.

Maggie said...

Even though the whole wheat doesn't work I really love using some whole rye flour. We ate this bread all last summer.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Alex, this seems to be foolproof and so easy!

Glamah - are your posts mostly through the paper, now? I'm not seeing them in my reader. And I HAVE been behind. Going through some health and other issues.

Peter - good point. I guess I was trying for the all or nothing thing. I saw your recipe - it looks marvelous. I like the speed of this one, especially as D and C inhale bread at an alarming rate. Truly.

Oh, Maggie - brilliant idea! And I love anything with rye. I'll have to try that.

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

It sounds easy and yummy. But the problem is, I couldn't eat just one slice. And then of course, there's the butter...

Widney Woman said...

Billy, over at FixMyRecipe.com can help you with the whole wheat bread. Tell him Simone from his church said he could do wonders. Haha! Billy fixes recipes that are off so they are the masterpiece the creator intended them to be.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Meg, I'm lucky in that I can eat one... my food problems are eating too much in general.

Widney - THANKS! I will definitely go check him out. I'd love to solve this.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I suggest the Artisan Bread in five minutes a day book - they have TONS of awesome recipes, including whole wheat was well as other peasant breads. here is a link to the one I did - but you have to read a rant first...

http://www.leftoverqueen.com/2008/07/01/speaking-of-baked-goodsbread-rant

anno said...

Jen, this sounds fantastic! Like Prefers Her Fantasy Life, I doubt I could stop at just one slice...

CableGirl said...

Hey lady. You'll love my post today. It's all about food.... but it was too long so it will have to be in installments. :)

Ambassador said...

Jen - Cant' wait to try this recipe! I grew up on a farm where we were always baking bread, in volumes that I can't comprehend now. These days, I am lucky to make my favorite dinner rolls for Christmas.

I'll have to try this when I make my next batch of black bean soup!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!
Ken

Bellini Valli said...

I finally broke down to pressure as well and made the 5 minute bread. The recipe I used mentioned I could use a metal pot so with trepidation I preheated it in the oven. It turned out well and my pot disn't disintegrate so I was happy:D

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Jenn - that is definitely on my "wish" list.

Anno - we're really happy with it. ;-)

CG - I started the post yesterday - I'm behind on everything because I pulled my stupid back out.

Ambassador - I didn't know you'd grown up on a farm. I hope you'll write about that. And I'm so happy to see your blog up and running again!

Val - it's a pretty amazing process, isn't it? BTW... am hoping to post something for the BloggerAid book next week. I've been behind on everything. Ugh.

Ben said...

I have his how to cook everything vegetarian book and I love it. I haven't tried any of his baking recipes (except for this bread) but I will follow your advice and not try them, I have enough already that I need to make. hehe.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I have both the vegetarian and regular cookbooks, Ben. He's just a master - it's kind of like "The Joy of Cooking" for our time.

Shayne said...

try whole wheat pastry flour and bread flour maybe a 50/50 mix?

Shayne said...

ps I use sparkpeople also. started with babyfit when I was pregnant with my baby, he is now 3 1/2

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Shayne - I probably have to give up my "all or nothing" mentality.

And yes, I ADORE sparkpeople! What a great site.

Grimm said...

Being that I am writing this a mere month after the fact, let me say the freshly baked bread is a true delight in our household.

The wife shall be attempting a whole wheat loaf sometime this weekend hopefully as our diets continue to run their course.