This is a very late Food Friday post, but I can’t go another week without posting this deliciousness. At a recent meetup of mommies and current/future mommy & food bloggers I enjoyed the most divine lunch, outside on the patio, on a gorgeous 75-degree October day. And now, you can, too.
The bread seen above is a bread that has made the rounds in the food blog world, known as No-Knead Bread or Sullivan Street Bakery Bread. I had always meant to try it, and now that I’ve encountered it in real life I can only say, “Hello, gorgeous, where have you been all my life?” Yum. Read all about it and then try it.
Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.
1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, 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. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton 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 (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. 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 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.
Eat with delectable cheeses outside on a gorgeous fall day in New England with wonderful company.
We also had salad, peppered with fresh herbs from the garden, and a delicious carrot soup. Which I ate, instead of photographing, so try it yourself to see what it looked like. I liked this a LOT better than some wintry carrot-ginger soups I have tried.
As prepared by my host:
“The soup: just cook fennel, onions, carrots, garlic in butter until lusciously soft. Add stock. Puree. Add more stock, s & p to taste. I can not find this recipe on line. It is from the Cooking for Mr. Latte book.”
Searching a bit, I didn’t find Amanda Hesser’s original recipe, but did find this adaptation on the lovely food blog, Orangette. Since I don’t have a copy of Cooking for Mr. Latte here, I’m not sure how different this from the original, but it sounds good, too.
Adapted by Orangette from Amanda Hesser in The New York Times Magazine, and Cooking for Mr. Latte
This light soup strikes a perfect balance between the delicate springtime flavors of young carrots and fennel. Be sure to choose carrots that are sweet and worthy of being eaten on their own; if you make this soup with tired, winter-weary ones, you’ll be sorry.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced; fronds reserved and chopped
1 ½ lbs. carrots, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4-5 cups vegetable broth (I used Imagine brand)
¾ tsp. salt, or to taste
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp. crème fraîche, or more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a large, heavy saucepan, warm oil over medium heat. Add the fennel slices, and cook, stirring, until softened. Add the carrots and garlic, and cook for another minute or two. Pour in 4 cups vegetable broth (if, after puréeing, you feel that the soup is too thick, you can add the final cup, but it’s better to err on the side of adding too little at first), and season with salt. Simmer, covered, until the carrots and fennel are very tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove the soup from the heat, and stir in the orange juice and reserved fennel fronds. If you have an immersion blender, purée the soup directly in the pot; otherwise, transfer it in batches to a food processor or blender, puréeing until smooth. Stir in the crème fraîche. Taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve warm.
We, of course, also had dessert.
Watch this elegant segue—this is my Best Shot Monday.
For more Best Shots and less talk about carrot soup, go to Tracey’s!
Anna Sawin is a Connecticut-based portrait, wedding, and editorial photographer. She lives in the shoreline town of Stonington with her family and has discovered the perfect cupcake. Just ask, she is willing to share her secret.