Today I thought I would write about something different. Today I thought I would write a little less about the origins of the recipe and more about the actual process of writing one of my articles. Today I thought I would give you a little insight into what challenges I face in my weekly self-imposed task of publishing a recipe and article on this blog………
Some people ask me where I get the ideas for my articles, well the truth is that in general they are just my idle musings, just whatever is going through me head at the time, given expression on a piece of electronic paper. Often, as mentioned in other articles, these ideas pop into my head from a dopamine induced brain-fog I often succumb to as I run in the mountains. As I often avail myself of the local mountains, at least for the moment, I have no shortage of things to write about. I can only hope that these musings are something you are interested in reading!
The hardest part about these weekly culinary adventures is actually finding time to cook something different. Yes, time….. and in spite of the fact I have more than many, and I am possibly rather more efficient in the use of it than most, I still don’t have enough. I have hundreds of recipes I want to cook, I have the inclination to cook new things on a regular basis, I just don’t have the time. If truth be known I have the time to cook, I just don’t necessarily have the time to cook new things.
It is my own fault of course, as I like to cook everything from scratch. We buy no pre-prepared meals and very few tins or packets with pre-prepared sauce or mixes and the like. With the allotment and orchard I also find myself batch cooking converting the surpluses into bottled or frozen products. Then of course there are the old favourites that we like to cook. I enjoy writing the blog and wouldn’t change it for the world, I was just reflecting on time and my lack of it!
The next month or so is the busiest time for me, so it is a good job I have a few recipes stored up for a rainy day, or in this case sunny. Spring starts in February around here and is in full swing by March. I have much to plant and prepare if we are to have a bountiful allotment and orchard. I can already see movement in the plants, bushes and trees both in the garden or in the fields around the house, yes Spring is upon us.
For me here the arrival of Spring is heralded more by two natural phenomena, rather than any changes in dates or months of a man-made calendar. The first is the magnificent display of almond blossom that turns many of the fields here into beautiful pictures of white and pink flowers against the bright emerald canvas of new green grass.
The second is the raucous calls of the cranes as they fly overhead on their way to more northern climes. For some reason they seem to circle over the village, whether to regroup or simply to check their bearings I have no idea, but let me assure you they make quite a racket. Often too high to be seen, they can still be heard!
So what is the recipe for this week? Well bread of course as you will have seen from the picture at the start of the article. You will also have seen the title so you will know that it is a no-knead bread, but it is in fact the culmination of so much more.
This particular bread journey started last summer in Galicia where even the humblest of restaurants served us fantastic bread. The quality and variety of breads they served was one of the first things I noticed about the region. So the bread has somewhat of a Galician style to it.
The next influence was from a bakery on Zurita, the street where my mother-in-law lives, that bakes a “pan de aceite”, a bread with lots of olive oil in it. Their bread is delicious so I wanted to get some of that flavour into my bread too.
The third was a television programme that was talking about “Panishop”, a local bakery chain. They had started selling a “slow” bread with a longer raising cycle to give it a better, stronger flavour. I liked the sound of that too!
Lastly, but far from leastly, I wanted a bread that required no kneading.
So there you have it. A rustic loaf that I think is delicious, is really easy to make and requires no real effort. It can also be made in the same day unlike many other no-knead breads.
No-Knead Rustic Loaf
Make 1 Loaf
½ tsp Yeast
300ml Warm Water
400g Plain flour (200W) For more information see the comments section below.
2 tsp Salt
6 tbsp olive oil
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a bowl.
Mix together the flour and salt into another bowl.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ones with a wooden spoon. This will form a soft, sticky dough.
Put about a third of the olive oil into the bottom of the now empty bowl. Gently spoon in the dough and cover. I use a cheap disposable shower cap!
Leave for one hour to rise.
Drizzle a little of the olive oil onto the dough then, using a plastic spatula, fold the dough in half then in half again. Cover and leave for an hour.
Repeat the folding and resting thrice more, adding a little more olive oil each time, to ensure it does not stick and to add flavour to the finished bread.
At the end of the final resting time preheat the oven to 260ºC Conventional Oven or 240ºC if it is Fan Assisted. With fan use a bottom heat only if possible to simulate an old-fashioned wood fired oven. Place the oven shelf towards the bottom of the oven.
Generously dust a working surface with flour. Gently pour out the mixture and with well floured hands quickly shape the dough into a round. Don’t worry if it is not that round or uniform, this is a rustic loaf after all.
Sprinkle with flour and lift gently onto a baking tray. Again it doesn’t have to be perfect at all!
Put some boiling water in a tray at the very bottom of the oven. Put the bread onto the oven shelf that you have towards the bottom.
Bake for 25 minutes. The outside should be crisp and brown whilst the inside is nice and soft.
Another easy recipe that would go rather well with last week’s recipe for rilette.
You will also find that this bread also keeps for quite a while without going stale.
A note on flours. I tend to use “normal” plain flour with this recipe although I have used stronger types too which work fine. The 200W reference is a Spanish one. The specifications for this flour are:
Known as: All-Purpose Flour or Plain Flour
Gluten: 8% to 11%
Type: DE 550 / FR 55 / IT 0 / ES 200W
Please feel free to let me know what you think of this or any other of the recipes via the comments option.
This week I thought I would remind you of two other Galician inspired dishes:
For an Empanada Gallega, just click here:
Or for Pulpo a la Gallega (Octopus Galician Style), just click here:
tsp – Teaspoon – 5ml
tbsp – Tablespoon – 15ml
Imperial to Metric Measurement:
1 oz – 28g
1 lb – 16 oz – 454g
1 gill – ¼ pint – 142ml
1 inch – 25mm
Common Flour Types:
Gluten: 8% to 10%
Type: ES 70W
All-Purpose Flour / Plain Flour
Gluten: 8% to 11%
Type: DE 550 / FR 55 / IT 0 / ES 200W
Bread Flour / Strong Flour / Hard Flour
Gluten: 12% to 14% protein (gluten)
Type: DE 812 / FR 80 / IT 1 / ES 400W
2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge