Oat No-Knead Bread

Oat No-Knead Bread

Oat No-Knead Bread

Can we take a minute to talk about my absolute obsession with no-knead bread?

I’m pretty sure I’ve made 30 loaves since that original post. Mostly because The Hubster says it’s the best bread ever, but also because it’s the easiest bread ever to make. Which may or may not be a good thing. Particularly when it comes to eating out.

That bread they bring you in the beginning of the meal? It pales in comparison to the bread we eat at home on a daily basis.

Oat No-Knead Bread

After 30 loaves of the basic no-knead bread in a row, I thought it was probably time to branch out. Not because we were getting sick of it (quite the contrary, actually), but I felt like I had it down to a science.

So I scoured Google and decided to try my hand at an oat-based no-knead loaf. It looked good, and included a bit of whole wheat flour into the mix. Something that the basic loaf does not include.

It was worth a shot.

Oat No-Knead Bread

The oat loaf was a big hit, both with The Hubster and with family that was in for the weekend visiting.

And it made the health coach in me happy, as it was a bit more on the whole grain side of life with rolled oats and whole wheat flour added into the mix.

Are you a no-knead aficionado? What are your favorite recipes?

Oat No-Knead Bread

Oat No-Knead Bread
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No-Knead Oat Bread

Prep Time 10 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 10 hours 45 minutes
Servings 6 -8
Author Emily Levenson | emilylevenson.com

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats plus 1 tbs for topping
  • 1 tsp salt sea or kosher
  • 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups luke warm water
  • 3- quart stock pot with a metal or glass lid or dutch oven
  • Additional flour for shaping

Instructions

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add water and mix with a wooden spoon until the flour is fully mixed in. It will be a sticky mess.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 10-12 hours (or up to 3 days) on the counter top. (The longer it sits, the more it will turn into a sourdough.)
  4. When you’re ready to make the dough, place pot in oven with lid. Preheat to 425°F and let heat for 30 minutes.
  5. With floured hands, pull the dough out of the bowl and put on a floured surface.
  6. Fold ends of dough over a few times and shape it into a ball.
  7. Sprinkle a handful of flour into bowl, and return dough to bowl to rest until oven is ready (about 25-30 minutes).
  8. Remove dough from the bowl and drop it into your heated pot. Sprinkle with rolled oats if you are feeling the urge.
  9. Cover and put into oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Uncover, bake another 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden.
  11. Remove and let cool on wired rack.
  12. Slice and serve.

Allergen Information

Nightshade Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Egg Free, and Corn Free.

Oat No-Knead Bread

No Knead Bread

No Knead Bread

Basic No Knead Bread

If I had my way, I would have bread every single meal for the rest of my life.

If you told me that I couldn’t have bread ever again for the rest of my life, I may never forgive you. In fact, I may throw a temper tantrum so big that even a two year old would think it was a bit much. (This may or may not have already happened…)

Don’t even get me started on the smell of fresh-baked bread. Because it’s pretty much the best thing ever.

Unbleached all purpose flour

Knowing how much I love bread, you would think that I’d be a freakin’ whiz at making it. But, alas, I am not.

My first attempt at bread resulted in a crazy over-flowing mess. My second and third attempts were tasty, though not really the best looking bread out there.

So I gave up. And resorted to buying fancy bread at the grocery store. No complaints on my part, just sort of resigned to the fact that fresh bread had to come from outside of our kitchen.

grey sea salt

Every now and then I would pick up a cookbook or two on baking artisan bread from the library. I would get the books home, take one look at the recipes, freak out at the weird ingredients that they called for, and decide it was too complicated for me.

And then I happened upon 52 Loaves. The author set out to bake the perfect loaf of bread by baking one loaf a week over the course of 52 weeks. Talk about dedication. And some seriously delicious loaves of bread.

I wasn’t sure that I had the dedication to do something like that, but it certainly got me wanting to try my hand at baking bread again.

active dry yeast

Fast forward a month, and we were reading The Art of Eating In by Cathy Erway for the Healthy Living Book Club. One of the first things she tries to make when she goes on her “restaurant fast” was a No-Knead bread recipe.

I was beginning to feel like the Universe was hitting me over the head and telling me that it was time to make bread again.

You would think that I took the hint and immediately went in search of a recipe…I didn’t. It took me a few weeks (and some mouth-watering finds over on Pinterest) to build up the courage to try bread-making again.

sticky dough for basic no knead bread

Now, I know what you’re going to say: No-Knead Bread is like so five minutes ago.

And you’re right. It’s been around the block for yearsssssss.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great way to make bread. Or that it isn’t worthy of sharing yet again.

Because honestly, this bread is so damn good, and so damn easy, that I’m kind of embarrassed that it took me this damn long to do it.

basic no knead bread

Why I love this recipe:

  • There are no complicated ingredients. It’s flour, salt, yeast, and water. Nothing more.
  • There are no complicated methods or procedures to get the perfect loaf of bread. It’s a 3-quart pot with a lid and an oven.
  • It’s fail-safe. I’ve made at least 4 loaves of this bread and every single one has turned out perfectly.
  • It’s incredibly forgiving.
  • It’s insanely delicious.

Why I don’t love this recipe: my clothes are starting to feel a bit tight…

basic no knead bread

The hardest part about making this bread? Finding the right pot to cook it in.

The original recipe calls for a dutch oven. The only dutch oven I had was a 5+-quart one that was just a teensy bit too big for a regular sized loaf. I tried a taller pot, but it was too tall and caused the bottom of the bread to burn because of how low the oven rack had to be.

basic no knead bread

So, I went on a hunt trying to find the perfect pot and ended up visiting about 7 different stores before settling on the pot I’m using now. Most traditional dutch ovens have plastic nobs and handles that are only oven safe up to 400°F, making them unusable for this recipe.

I ended up finding a gorgeous 3-quart stainless steel stockpot with a glass and stainless lid at TJ Maxx for around $30. Do yourself a favor and just start there. Otherwise, you may pay close to $120 for a suitable alternative.

basic no knead bread

One trick I learned from reading 52 Loaves, placing the loaf of bread cut side down on a cutting board or surface will prevent the bread from going stale and keep it fresh longer. I’ve tried it with four different loaves of fresh bread AND IT WORKS.

One final word about this recipe: if you’re planning to try a whole wheat flour instead of the unbleached all-purpose flour, you will have to adjust the water content. The dough needs to be fairly sticky in order for it to be perfectly moist and doughy. Trust me on this one. I’ve tried it with a white whole wheat and a full on whole wheat flour. It’s just not the same…

photographing basic no knead bread

Basic No Knead Bread
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Basic No Knead Bread

Prep Time 10 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 10 hours 45 minutes
Servings 4 -6
Author Emily Levenson | emilylevenson.com

Ingredients

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt sea or kosher
  • 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups luke warm water
  • 3- quart stock pot with a metal or glass lid or dutch oven
  • Additional flour for shaping

Instructions

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add water and mix with a wooden spoon until the flour is fully mixed in. It will be a sticky mess.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 10-12 hours (or up to 3 days) on the countertop. (The longer it sits, the more it will turn into a sourdough.)
  4. When you're ready to make the dough, place pot in oven with lid. Preheat to 425°F and let heat for 30 minutes.
  5. With floured hands, pull the dough out of the bowl and put on a floured surface.
  6. Fold ends of dough over a few times and shape it into a ball.
  7. Sprinkle a handful of flour into bowl, and return dough to bowl to rest until oven is ready (about 25-30 minutes).
  8. Remove dough from the bowl and drop it into your heated pot.
  9. Slice 2-3 lines in top of dough.
  10. Cover and put into oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
  11. Uncover, bake another 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden.
  12. Remove and let cool on wired rack.
  13. Slice and serve.

Allergen Information

Nightshade Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Egg Free, and Corn Free.

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

The past few weeks have been a bit hectic and crazy, as I’m sure you guessed by the lack of new stuff showing up on the blog.

One thing that always seems to make me feel more grounded and sane is to get back into the kitchen. Which is exactly what I did. I made a huge batch of soup. And not one but two loaves of this incredible banana bread.

This certainly isn’t the first time I’ve made banana bread. Just the first time using this recipe from Simply Recipes.

What I love about this recipe:

  • It uses up a lot of bananas. Which we always seem to have on hand in the freezer. It’s like they multiply in there, or something.
  • It doesn’t use a ton of sugar (1/2 cup!).
  • It doesn’t use milk of any kind.
  • It is easily made dairy free (Earth Balance or oil for the butter).
  • I bet it could be made vegan quite easily (flax egg or egg replacer), since it only uses 1 egg.
  • It was super easy.
  • It didn’t require any mixers, blenders, or special folding in of ingredients.
  • It’s delicious.
  • It requires very little prep time and minimal effort to have a fabulous homemade treat.

I highly encourage you to try it out. Just be warned, you might need to make two loaves. It’s kind of addictive.

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Dairy-Free Banana Bread

Nothing like a delicious loaf of banana bread for breakfast, lunch, or an after dinner snack.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 -8
Author Emily Levenson | emilylevenson.com

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe bananas smashed
  • 1/3 cup oil canola, safflower, sunflower, etc.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbs chia seeds optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and flour an 8" loaf pan.
  3. Mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.
  4. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla or almond extract.
  5. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.
  6. Add the flour last, mix.
  7. Pour mixture into loaf pan.
  8. Bake for 1 hour.
  9. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
  10. Do a happy dance.
  11. Slice and serve!

Allergen Information

Nightshade free, dairy free, soy free, and corn free.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread (Dairy Free)

Peanut Butter Banana Bread (Dairy Free)

peanut butter banana bread

One of the flavor combinations that I am growing to love more and more is peanut butter and…wait for it…banana. While chocolate and peanut butter will forever have my heart, this runs a close second.

The Hubster has even begun to dig peanut butter in some surprising ways. He loves it atop noodles. Even has started to enjoy it on a bite of brownie cupcake or two. And now? He likes it in this peanut butter banana bread.

And if you didn’t know how much The Hubster loves his banana bread, let’s just say he has a jingle he likes to sing called Do Do Do Da Do. Banana Bread. He even asks for it by song.

So, what did The Hubster think about this new variation? He definitely liked it. And I’ve been told that The King would be proud of this masterful flavor duo. Two things every recipe should strive for.

My inspiration for this was a combination of James Beard and a little Joy the Baker.

peanut butter banana bread
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Recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax meal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick 1/2 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 extremely ripe bananas mashed
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup soy milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts optional

Additional toppings or add-ins:

  • Chopped roasted {and perhaps salted} peanuts
  • Chocolate chips
  • Peanut butter cups {if you can}
  • Walnuts in the batter versus just on top

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a bread pan with butter/oil/shortening and flour.
  2. Combine flours, flax meal, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to cream the Earth Balance. Gradually add the sugar and mix well.
  4. Add the eggs, bananas, and peanut butter and blend thoroughly.
  5. Combine the soy milk and lemon juice, which will curdle a bit.
  6. Slowly and alternately mix in the flour mixture and the soy milk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Blend well after each addition.
  7. Pour into a prepared bread pan and top with chopped walnuts if interested. Bake for 1 hour, or until bread springs back when lightly touched in the center.
  8. Devour immediately or hide if you want to get a slice before it is completely gone. Just sayin.

Allergen Information

Nightshade free, dairy free, and corn free.

Homemade Bagels

Homemade Bagels

I’ve been saying that I wanted to learn how to make my own bagels for a long time. I have a love affair with the bagel that has spanned several decades. And am kind of surprised that it took me this long to try it out myself.

It was definitely worth the wait.

Homemade bagels are fairly amazing. And surprisingly easy to make. Had I known that they were that easy, I’m sure they would have been attempted much sooner.

As easy as they are, it takes about an hour from start to finish. So save these for a lazy morning, or a weekend. Or any day where you have an hour to spare.

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Wheat Bagels

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. The dough should feel stiff, but add the extra water if it's really stiff, or you can't get all the dry flour incorporated.
  2. Plop the dough down onto the counter, and knead for about ten minutes, or until the dough is uniform and smooth.
  3. Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls, and let rest for 10-20 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  5. Take each of the dough balls and roll it into a little snake. When the snake is longer than the width of your two hands, wrap it around your dominant roiling hand. The dough rope should be wrapped so the overlapping ends are together at your palm, near the start of your fingers.
  6. Take the two overlapping ends, and use your palm to press the ends together. Once the dough is fused, you should have a perfectly circular bagel-to-be!
  7. Repeat for remaining balls of dough.
  8. Let your bagels rest for 20 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil, and grease a large baking tray lightly.
  10. Add as many at a time as you can to your boiling water without crowding them (our large pot fit 3-4 at a time). Boil for about 1 minute, turn them over, and boil for another minute.
  11. Take them out a let dry for a minute and then place them on your oiled baking tray.
  12. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled.
  13. Add the tray to the oven, and after 10 minutes, flip the bagels over, bake for another 10 minutes.
  14. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before eating or toasting.

Allergen Information

Nightshade free, dairy free, corn free, soy free, and egg free.