I Heart Running

July 14, 2010

Within a few minutes of the alarm going off this morning, Craig and I were out the door and pounding the pavement for a nice 3 mile run. Just as we were finishing up, I saw Craig’s back and exclaimed, “there’ a heart on your back!” In between his shoulder blades, a sweat mark had formed in the perfect shape of a heart.

I finished up with another 4 miles on my own and came back to this. Awww. . . so sweet!!

Craig said I should submit the picture to Runner’s World.

Now time for the recipe for the No Knead Bread I promised. This is by far the best homemade bread I’ve made!! It is seriously like bread from a bakery–crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside!!

Only 4 ingredients are required:

– flour

– instant yeast (I actually used “quick-rise yeast,” which I don’t think is the same. Can anyone help me out?)

– salt

– water

In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended.

The dough will be very sticky.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at room temperature, about 70 degrees.

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.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. (I’ve resorted to using the Kitchen Aid mixer because the dough is way too sticky to work with.)

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 readily spring back when poked with a finger.

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 okay. 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.

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.

Lunch

Today’s lunch was quick and simple. Colorful veggies and a piece of toast with peanut butter and blueberry jam.

I also had some Chobani vanilla yogurt with a crumbled Thick Chewy Granola Bar on top.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Later!

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