Low-Knead (Easy) Sandwich Bread
I had been wanting to make a sandwich bread for a while, so I gave it a try with the Low-Knead Sandwich Bread recipe from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt with NYTCooking. According to the NYT, this recipe was inspired by Jim Lahey’s influential no-knead bread recipe.
The recipe was easy to follow, and cooked beautifully. I used egg wash on the top before baking, and sprinkled it with some sea salt and sesame seeds for a little more flavor. Look at the beautiful crumb! I’ll definitely be making this one again. I think next time I’ll replace 100g of water with 100 g of whole milk for a softer, richer loaf as suggested.
In terms of timing/schedule, I started at noon, then alternating folding and resting until 3pm and then transferred it to the fridge to rest overnight.
The next morning I took it out at 8am, placed it in the loaf pan and let it rise at room temperature. The recipe calls for this to take 2 hours, but mine took 3. Probably because the house is cool with the AC.
I put it in the oven at 11, and it was done in 35 minutes.
If you make this one, let me know how it goes!
It's Focaccia Friday!
Last week on IG I was drawn to the beautiful pictures that @mamaluu_bakes shared of her Sourdough Focaccia, and she shared the fabulous recipe from Dan @mothership_breads. I had to try it for myself in the Delaney Test Kitchen. And @mamaluu_bakes, I took your advice and also used my Kitchen Aid and it worked great.
You can find the recipe on both of their IG feeds, and I’ve reposted it here for you as well:
-400g tipo 00 or all-purpose flour
-80g mature 100% hydration whole grain based starter
-20g extra virgin olive oil, and extra for coating pan
-10g sea salt
Mix all the ingredients together until a shaggy dough forms.
Let this rest 30 minutes and after that knead it using stretch and folds/Rubaud method for about 4 min., let rest 10 min. and then Rubaud for another 3-4 minutes.
Cover dough with a damp tea towel and let it bulk ferment at room temperature for approx. 5 hours performing stretch and folds every 30 minutes for the first 1.5 hours. Bulk until the dough has nearly doubled in volume. My kitchen is quite warm, between 27C and 30C and this took me ~5 hours.
After that, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and stick it in a 4C fridge overnight (at least 8 hours and up to 24).
In the Morning: A couple hours before baking take a 10” cast iron skillet and coat it generously with olive oil. Take the dough out of the fridge and gently ease it from the bowl to skillet with olive oil coated fingers.
Flip the dough ball around to coat it with olive oil.
Then let the dough proof, covered with a damp tea towel, in a warm place for 1-2 hours.
At this point the dough should spread out considerably towards the edges of the pan and appear very soft and bubbly. It would be considered overproofed for making regular bread.
Gently lift the dough up at the edges to let air bubbles from underneath the dough escape, and to allow the olive oil to redistribute underneath it. Gently push the dough to the edges of the pan and dimple it with your fingers. Top with desired toppings, sprinkle with flaky salt and drizzle generously with more extra virgin olive oil.
Bake it in a preheated 500F oven for about 20 minutes, cool until just warm, and enjoy!
Homemade Soft Pretzel Knots
I saw this recipe for pretzel knots in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) a few weeks ago, and immediately clipped it. Frozen hot pretzels are a popular evening snack for my boys, so I thought I could make them something even better. This is a great activity with the little ones, even if they only join you for the shaping of the knots. Plus it is springtime - and it makes me think of baseball, the Braves, and stadium hot pretzels.
This recipe is from Kelly Senyei’s cookbook “The Secret Ingredient Cookbook.” For this recipe, she says the secret ingredient is the everything bagel seasoning. And while I don’t disagree, I only used that for half of them. I used coarse sea salt on the other half since not everyone in my house likes everything bagels (crazy, I know).
If you try this for yourself, please let me know how it goes! And if you're interested, check out Kelly's website for more great recipes: www.justataste.com
Noni's Soft Pretzel Knots
Garden Focaccia Bread
Garden Focaccia Breads: another TikTok cooking trend where I am late to the party.
Some people make them look like gardens or elaborate designs. I was looking for a relatively easy recipe and found this one for Garden Focaccia Bread Art from Chef Ronnie Woo and Rachel Ray. His design was really beautiful, too, with a rising phoenix made from red onions. Mine was not nearly as pretty as his, but given it was my first time making this type of bread I think I did just fine. I highly recommend this recipe.
Garden Focaccia Bread Art With Vegetables + Herbs,
by Chef Ronnie Woo (serves 6)
In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast, salt, olive oil, honey, and warm water to form a shaggy dough. Using your hands, knead the dough in the bowl until a smooth ball forms. Drizzle with olive oil, cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rest in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425˚F. When the dough has risen, drizzle a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet with olive oil and spread with your fingers to coat the pan lightly from edge to edge. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and press evenly into the pan. Using your fingers, press into the top of the dough all over with the tips of your fingers to dimple the dough.
Arrange cut vegetables and herbs on top of dough. Drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with salt, then let rest for 10 minutes more. Bake until golden brown on top, 15 to 20 minutes. Drizzle with more olive oil before serving.
Kris Delaney is a marketing executive, foodie, travel enthusiast, and book nerd based in Atlanta, GA.