Wednesday, November 08, 2006

It's cheaper at home!

I run into a bit of a predicament when it comes to my job. See, I work steps away from Soho, the West Village, and TriBeCa -- the trendiest eating areas in New York City. It's a dream come true, except that my actual job doesn't pay me enough to enjoy these trendy areas. Therefore, lunch is limited. However, when I feel like splurging I go to nearby Kiva Café. The place comes up with yummy sandwiches -- they are the type that make the place seem uppity, and especially because they are priced so high, but really they are so easy to recreate at home.

The sandwich I get most often is the portabello one. It is grilled portabello on a ciabatta with olive paste and parmesan shavings -- easy enough to try out at home, so I did.

So there you have roasted portabello (using Nigella's Mushroom Sandwich recipe from How to Eat), spinach, olive paste (from my last culinary trip to Astoria, Queens) and parmesan shavings on a ciabatta from the famous Sullivan Street Bakery, also a hop, skip and a jump away from my four-walled dungeon of hell (aka 'my office').

And speaking of Sullivan Street Bakery (how's that for a cool segue?!!), the owner of the one farther uptown shows Mark Bittman (The Minimalist) how to make a no-knead loaf of bread. Here's the recipe -- looks cool!

November 8, 2006

Recipe: No-Knead Bread

Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mmm that sandwich looks fab. I love sandwiches. And the bread is really intriguing.. I am contemplating making it too - let us know how it goes if you do...

Kathryn x

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