It was a foodie Christmas for Nicooks! Those near and dear to me knew the best gifts were those I could use in the kitchen. This post was inspired by a Christmas gift.
Almost No-Knead Bread from Jan.-Feb. 2008
I’ve just discovered the joys of Cook’s Illustrated, thanks to a gift from my Dad and his wife. They got me the bound editions of all 2008 and 2009 issues.
Last night’s dinner came from 2 recipes in the 2008 edition.
BALTs (Bacon, Avocado, Lettuce and Tomato) on homemade bread with roasted broccoli and potatoes
The loaf was the best “regular bread” I’ve ever made. It’s got a crunchy crust and chewy, moist middle.
Cook’s Illustrated’s Almost No-Knead Bread
Makes 1 large round loaf
3 cups (15 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting work surface
1/4 tsp. instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp. table salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. water (7 ounces), at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. (3 ounces) mild-flavored lager
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1. Whisk flour, yeast and salt in large bowl. Add water, beer and vinegar. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.
2. Lay 12-by-18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside 10-inch skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to parchment-lined skillet and spray surface of dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.
3. About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour top of dough and, using razor blade or sharp knife, make one 6-inch-long, 1/2-inch-deep slit along top of dough. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
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I’ve been roasting broccoli for years, but I thought I’d give Cook’s recipe a try. On this account, at least, their careful research and experimentation didn’t make any difference — I like my version better.
Cook’s Illustrated’s Roasted Broccoli
1 large head broccoli (about 1 3/4 pounds)
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
Ground black pepper
Lemon wedges for serving
1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place large rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Cut broccoli at juncture of florets and stems; remove outer peel from stalk. Cut stalk into 2- to 3-inch lengths and each length into 1/2-inch thick pieces. Cut crowns into 4 wedges if 3-4 inches in diameter or 6 wedges if 4-5 inches in diameter. Place broccoli in large bowl; drizzle with oil and toss well until evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt, sugar and pepper to taste and toss to combine.
2. Working quickly, remove baking sheet from oven. Carefully transfer broccoli to baking sheet and spread into even layer, placing flat sides down. Return baking sheet to oven and roast until stalks are well browned and tender and florets are lightly browned, 9 to 11 minutes. Transfer to serving dish and serve immediatly with lemon wedges.
My version of roasted broccoli
Preaheat oven to 400.
Cut head of broccoli lengthwise, into 4-6 pieces. Place on baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil. Scatter 2 cloves minced garlic over top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 15-20 minutes.