The beauty of this blend is it not only creates an authentic boule (the traditional name for French bread shaped in a ball), but it also needs no electric mixer. Simply stir together, cover, and set aside to rise. Mixture can be punched down several times and left covered in a warm place for a couple of days or more. Or cover and refrigerate until ready to rise in a warm place. It’s foolproof!
Mix it up a little. With the increased grain varietals out there, substitute with a little einkhorn or farro flour. Start with 1/2 to 3/4 cup (125 to 180 mL). It’s all about adjusting your expectations from what you are most familiar with.
Store bread at room temperature in paper bag overwrapped in plastic for a couple of days. Or, for longer storage, freeze for up to a month. Remove from freezer and thaw before serving. Crisp up in 350 F (180 C) oven.
In large bowl, combine flour, herbs or Parmesan (if using), sugar, salt, and yeast. Stir to blend. Slowly stir in water until blended. Mixture will be very sticky. Generously coat large bowl with oil, such as olive or coconut, and transfer dough to greased bowl. Seal tightly with greased plastic wrap. Set aside in warm place to rest for 10 hours or overnight, until itu2019s tripled in bulk. If in a time crunch, dough can be punched down several times and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before continuing.
Lightly dust counter with extra flour. With wooden spoon, stir dough, then turn out onto floured surface. Gently form into a ball. Dough will be quite loose and shaggy. Very generously dust fine-weave dish towel or large piece of pastry linen with flour. Transfer dough into centre and gently fold fabric to encase dough. Set aside to slightly rise for 1 1/2 hours.
An hour before ready to bake, preheat oven to 425 F (220 C). Place Dutch oven or cast iron pan without lid in oven to preheat for at least 40 minutes before bread is ready to be baked.
When dough has risen, unfold from fabric. You may need to use a silicone scraper to peel from fabric. Scatter cornmeal into preheated Dutch oven and gently roll dough from fabric into very hot pan. Lightly dust top of dough with flour and cover with lid from Dutch oven or cast iron pan to tightly seal.
Bake bread in covered dish for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake for 15 to 20 more minutes, until crust is nice and golden and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove pan from oven and immediately transfer bread to wire rack to cool.
Serve cut into thick slices with slices of grilled chicken, flavoured mayonnaise, and crisp lettuce. Alternatively, cut into chunks and serve for dipping into a cozy winter soup. Delicious toasted.
This recipe is part of the New Breads collection.
Luscious figs loaded onto hearty flatbread make a satisfying breakfast or brunch. They’re sweet and delicious when paired with savoury cinnamon-flavoured crunchy pumpkin seeds and tart goat cheese. And, with a dough enriched with whole wheat flour, hempseeds, and nigella, these flatbreads are sure to be satisfying. They’re also chock full of fibre and protein, and with 6 mg of iron, you’ll be on your way to 31 percent of the recommended daily value. A freezer favourite By making dough in advance and freezing, you can make these individual flatbreads part of your routine for days when you don’t have much time. Simply portion dough individually right after mixing, allow it to rise in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours, and then freeze in individual containers. To thaw an individual ball of dough, 24 hours before you wish to use it, remove the container from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. At least an hour before baking, allow dough to come up to room temperature outside of the fridge.
Select the ripest figs you can find to add gorgeous sweetness to this hearty salad, which is just as useful for a family dinner as a workday lunch. Carrots and chickpeas are dressed in a savoury tahini yogurt dressing with Middle Eastern-inspired flavours. A little goes a long way with this fibre- and protein-packed salad, which keeps well in the fridge. Fall favourite Did you know that some varieties of figs have two seasons? They enjoy a brief, early season at the beginning of June and a second season from August to October. Fall figs tend to be sweeter and grow on the new wood of trees.
The apple in these turkey meatballs might not be immediately visible, but it’s working behind the scenes to help bind them together and adds sweet flavour and juiciness. Chinese five-spice powder—a blend of star anise, ground fennel seeds, Sichuan peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon—lends lively flavour, alongside ginger and garlic. Packed full of protein, these meaty bites are a good source of vitamin D and iron and make for a tasty party appetizer. Meatball magic Handle with care A light touch is the key to a well-formed, juicy meatball. Using a tablespoon measure or cookie scoop, spoon heaping tablespoons into individual meatballs and toss them back and forth between your hands a few times, very gently, to round them off. Avoid squeezing or compressing the meat. Make ahead You can form meatballs 4 hours in advance and refrigerate before cooking. Lay meatballs in a single layer on parchment in glass dish; cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Remove meatballs from refrigerator about 30 minutes before you begin to cook to allow them to come to room temperature. This will ensure they cook evenly. Blot any excess moisture before adding to the hot pan. Turning with this trick When browning meatballs, use a cookie scoop to nudge and turn the meatball. If it loses its round shape, use the scoop to gently re-form.
Fall root vegetables such as parsnips or celeriac make a delicious combination with the autumn season’s arguably biggest star—the apple. Choose a tart apple like Granny Smith or a sweet-tart apple like Pink Lady for this silky soup thickened up with a cashew cream to deliver not only a winning texture but a healthy dose of dietary fibre and some added protein. Tarragon is a supporting actor in this play, working nicely with the apples in a bright, tasty oil as garnish. Terrific with tarragon Bring this dish to the next level by making an elegant tarragon oil to drizzle over the soup. Place 1/3 cup (80 mL) tarragon leaves in fine sieve. Fill a bowl large enough to accommodate sieve with ice water and set aside. Plunge sieve into pot of boiling water, drenching tarragon for about 30 seconds. Remove sieve and plunge it into the ice water and leave for a minute or so. Drain and transfer tarragon to clean kitchen towel. Squeeze out all the water and place tarragon in food processor with 1/3 cup (80 mL) olive oil. Blend for about a minute and then strain oil through clean fine sieve into jar. Use at room temperature and refrigerate when not using.