So it’s been a while, yeah?
Let me start as I mean to go on, with honesty: I only made it back today because I committed to World Bread Day ages ago (hosted, by the way, by the writer of Karen’s Kitchen Stories. Thank you for organizing this, Karen!). Scroll all the way down for more fabulous bread recipes, both yeasted and sourdough!
I meant to come back in August. I put an editorial calendar together. I thought about the recipes I wanted to make. I thought about how I should make sure I was back to posting regularly by the time the holiday season rolled around (now). I baked a couple test breads. And I thought about quitting, even though I told you all that I wouldn’t.
I wanted to have been posting at least monthly about being a new parent, about how wonderful and awful it is to have a tiny human dependent on you, put maybe 5 percent of the experience into words. The thing is, I was already juggling a lot of balls before the baby arrived, and when she came, I dropped most of them. In this metaphor, the baby is a bowling ball, being a working mom is a volleyball — and it’s not a perfect metaphor, but basically just thinking about taking the testing-writing-photographing-social-mediaing back up makes me want to crawl back into bed and stay there. (Which I can’t, because the baby takes 35-minute naps, but that’s another story.)
I vacillate between two schools of thought. One is the one that says, “This baby will only be small once. Don’t waste this.” And there’s the other, the one that says, “You can do anything you want, even more than you want, if you just work your ass off for it.”
Both thoughts are right, but I think they might be mutually exclusive. Despite my hope that I can do every single thing I’ve ever wanted to if only I find the magic time management solution, I don’t think it’s true.
When I admitted as such to Robby, out loud, he listened, and then told me what I already knew: I won’t know until I give it a try.
So here I am.
Will I be back weekly? I like to think so. Will I continue into 2019? I like to think so. Will I still be able to treasure every single second of being a new mom? While also working full time, having a paid side gig, an unpaid side gig, introducing solid food to an infant, sleeping occasionally, and cuddling my husband once in a while?
I might have to get said husband to haul me out from under the covers. In writing, it looks even crazier (especially given that my recipe plugin appears to be broken, so I’m going to have to paste the instructions in here old-school style and fix it later). But I’m going to try it. Come along with me for the ride?
Adapted very slightly from Just a Little Bit of Bacon. (Please note, the bread in these photos actually needed a little more water, and possibly a longer second rise.)
No-Knead Mediterranean Bread
3 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 – 1 1/4 cups water, room temperature
Tools: Dutch oven with lid
In a stand mixer or large bowl, combine flour, yeast, salt, rosemary, and olive oil. Stir with a large spoon (or the paddle attachment of the mixer) until incorporated.
To achieve the right consistency, start with 3/4 cup of water and stir until incorporated. Mix in water a couple of tablespoons at a time until the texture seems right, shaggy and wet, but still distinctly a dough.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature (70-80 F) until doubled, about 10-12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Measure out a piece of parchment paper large enough to line the bottom and sides of the Dutch oven; set aside. When the oven is preheated, place the Dutch oven inside (without the lid) to also preheat.
Meanwhile, prep a floured surface. Gently scrape the dough onto it and fold it over on itself a few times, then gently shape into a ball. This very gentle shaping nevertheless adds important structure to the dough. Cover and let rise for at least 1 more hour.
When the dough is ready, take the Dutch oven out. Carefully line it with the parchment paper, drop in the dough ball, and use a sharp knife or razor to slash the top of the ball. Add the lid, and pop the whole thing back in the oven for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and bake another 15. Bread should sound hollow if you knock on it, and measure at least 190 F inside. Immediately place on a wire rack to cool.
Allow to cool completely before slicing. Eat plain, with butter, or serve as an appetizer with herbed olive oil for dipping.
- The olive oil taste is quite evident. Use your favorite or a high quality oil to quickly boost the flavor of this bread.
- Living in humid Florida means I need less water in my bread dough, and your mileage may vary. I think my ideal amount for this recipe is just under a cup.
- The bread can rise longer, up to about 24 hours.
- If your house is on the cooler side, try letting the bread rise in the microwave (not while it’s on, obviously).
World Bread Day!
- Bao Buns from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Cheesy Garlic Sourdough Focaccia from Cooking with Carlee
- Chocolate Babka from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
- Chocolate Bread from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Sourdough Rye Bread from Caroline’s Cooking
- Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Dinner Rolls from Cooking for My Soul
- White Chocolate Mocha Braid from The Baking Fairy
- Yemarina Yewotet Dabo (Ethiopian Honey Bread) from Culinary Adventures with Camilla