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I've been baking up a storm for the past couple of weeks! How about you? It's such a good stress reliever.

Today's endeavour was a batch of meringues. One little "oops!" resulted in a big old mess. But rather than getting frustrated, I stuck some eyes on it:

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I like your Caspar.

I baked a loaf of bread yesterday. When my children were home, I baked our bread every week. I so wanted to be an Earth Mother ; )

Now I have a bread machine but I've been cheating and using a local bakery. I immodestly like my own bread better.
 

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I like your Caspar.

I baked a loaf of bread yesterday. When my children were home, I baked our bread every week. I so wanted to be an Earth Mother ; )

Now I have a bread machine but I've been cheating and using a local bakery. I immodestly like my own bread better.
It's never too late to be an Earth Mother. :)

There is something truly magical about the smell of baking bread. And that crackling sound when it first comes out?? Oh my goodness. So good for the soul.

I don't have a bread machine (much as I'd like one!) and so I love this easy no-knead recipe from Jim Lahey:


Jim Lahey's book on pizza is also one of my all-time favourite cookbooks:

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The pizza you can make with these recipes and techniques is so much better than any pizza I ever thought I could make at home.
 

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OMG, Peggy, I watched the video with the article on how to make the No-Knead Bread. It's sooo easy, and looked sooo good when done. If only I had some yeast I'd be baking a loaf this week! Ah well, the next time I order from Amazon Prime in need for fresh fruit and veggies, yeast is on my list.

I got a gift of a Dutch Oven from Christmas, still in the box; my brother bakes bread in his but I haven't watched him do it yet. He said he sometimes adds things like a few nuts or fruit or whatever in the bread. I think one time he added basil and it was the bomb. I forgot exactly what he served the last time, but it was good. It looks like the chef in the video also used a Dutch Oven.

I'm wondering how this can be done making pizza. I hope my next question isn't too awkard: Do you use the same method making pizza bread, only cooking a smaller quantity in a Dutch Over and getting a smaller pizza? Or skip the Dutch Oven and just add the toppings to the dough and bake? Thanks.
 

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This bread will be the perfect first use for your Dutch oven!! Yay! Can't wait to see how it turns out. My first attempt was far from perfect, but still so delicious and comforting.

The pizza dough is a totally different recipe. The common denominator is that it also uses a no-knead technique.

You just mix the ingredients before bed, cover the bowl, and the dough is ready to go the next day at dinner time! It's so soft and pillowy and uses very little yeast. A quarter teaspoon I think.

Here's a link to the pizza dough recipe:


The book goes further and describes in detail how to cook the pizza in a home oven to recreate a pizza oven effect. It's AMAZING. You just need a pizza stone or pizza steel (we use steel) and a functional broiler.

It even works in our electric oven!
 

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Those cookies including Caspar are cute. Yummy activity.
 

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I felt the need to get baking too - bread in the bread maker (cheating a bit, but so easy), and a batch of vanilla sponge puddings with baked figs and raspberries - the fruit came from my great freezer tidy out, and is a really nice combination.

I am also starting to make yoghurt again - I am hoping dried milk will work to make strained greek yoghurt, but the fat content may be too low.
 

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I felt the need to get baking too - bread in the bread maker (cheating a bit, but so easy), and a batch of vanilla sponge puddings with baked figs and raspberries - the fruit came from my great freezer tidy out, and is a really nice combination.

I am also starting to make yoghurt again - I am hoping dried milk will work to make strained greek yoghurt, but the fat content may be too low.
Thanks for the reminder - I have a yogurt maker that I've been too lazy to use for a few(?) years. Guess it's time to see what else I've forgotten.
 

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I must try the no knead bread - looks a good alternative to the rather soft crust from the breadmaker, and I bet it would work for ciabatta too.
 

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I must try the no knead bread - looks a good alternative to the rather soft crust from the breadmaker, and I bet it would work for ciabatta too.
Does your breadmaker have a dough cycle? I often knead there and oven bake.
I think it makes far better-shaped loaves to use a pan in the oven.

Tomorrow I bake rolls for my s-i-l who is currently quarantined in a local hotel away from his RN wife. We'll take him chili and rolls - his idea of a balanced meal.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I am also starting to make yoghurt again - I am hoping dried milk will work to make strained greek yoghurt, but the fat content may be too low.
Let us know how it goes! I've been trying to get my hands on whole powdered milk with no luck. Sold out everywhere.
 

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I must try the no knead bread - looks a good alternative to the rather soft crust from the breadmaker, and I bet it would work for ciabatta too.
Even the basic loaf has a ciabatta quality: Hard crust and beautiful air bubbles throughout. And my loaves have a tendency to come out quite flat because my Dutch oven is one size too large.

An easy variation is just the addition of some cubed sharp cheddar. Mmmm. I think I need to go make some now.....

The actual hands-on time is minimal, but it's spread out throughout the day. Perfect for these days stuck at home.
 

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Ummmm - I have some sun dried tomatoes too... cheese and tomato bread...

My breadmaker does have a knead only cycle, but I am liable to forget it and eventually come back to a kitchen full of ever expanding dough!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Here's a recipe from Jim Lahey's no-knead bread book that doesn't require a Dutch oven:

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I don't have any bread flour, so will see how it does with my regular all-purpose brand. Fingers crossed!

(For pizza dough, I always use 00 flour.)
 

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Those bread sticks look fabulous - I would have to think of an alternative to garlic, though. And perhaps wait until I can share them - somehow baking loses some of its savour when it doesn't result in a shared, happy meal.
 
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