Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Be a Good Neighbour - Cook for Someone!

And... Today is the last day you can get The Good Neighbor Cookbook for just $2.99 on the Kindle or Nook!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Armchair Novel Review: Web of Angels by Lilian Nattel

Web of Angels
a Novel
Written by Lilian Nattel

Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Also available as an eBook

Web of Angels grabbed me right from the first sentence. A literary novel, with elements of mystery and enough quirkiness to add lightness to such a deep and difficult subject matter.

Sharon Lewis is a mother of three in a small community near downtown Toronto. With strong determination and the help of a good therapist, she keeps herself and her family together - despite having DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder.

In fact the multiple aspect of her mind often gives her insight into what is going on around her and lends her an almost ESP-like ability to find lost items.

Then tragedy happens - a pregnant teenage girl commits suicide in their close-knit community. Sharon fights to protect her family, and the sister the girl left behind, while the fractures of her mind make sense of what happened.

The book delves into unfathomable depths and is uplifting at the same time. It explores the worst that humans can do to each other, and the best they can do for each other. In the end it's about how we can cope, heal, and move on.

A beautiful book.

Lilian talking about Web of Angels and DID

Lilian's Website -

Monday, 27 February 2012

Book Tour: Between a Rock and a Hot Place, Why Fifty is the New Fifty

Between a Rock and a Hot Place
Why Fifty is the New Fifty
by Tracey Jackson
Paperback, 304 pages
Harper Paperbacks

We've all heard the claims that fifty is the new thirty. (Rarely made by thirty-year-olds, unless they are placating their mothers.)

Veteran screenwriter Tracey Jackson has a bone to pick with that. In her candid and hilarious first book, Between a Rock and a Hot Place, Why Fifty is the New Fifty, she explores and shares her own experience with aging - combating what she could and accepting what needed to be accepted. Fifty is not thirty, but with a little hard work you can be a hell of a lot younger than your grandmother was at fifty.

Tracey holds nothing back as she delves into the physical and emotional tolls of menopause, empty-nesting, later-life parenting, changes in sex drive, health issues, down-sizing, employment (or lack thereof), plastic surgery, financial considerations, and death. All while keeping the reader in stitches, I might add. No small feat - but she pulls it off beautifully. Frank and honest, wry and wicked, this is definitely the book you want to guide you through what the French refer to as the "third age". 

Find more about Tracey Jackson on her website -
Visit her on Tumblr -
Or follow her tweets on Twitter! -!/traceyjackson4

TLC Book Tours Tour Host

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Psari Fournou ala Spetsiota

Okay, are you ready to lighten up a bit? I'm not talking big commitment here, just a few little changes to please the old ticker. (By which I mean your heart - If anything else is ticking: duck and cover.)

This dish is a little lighter by virtue of being baked, features nutritious and low fat fish, and most importantly - is huge on flavour and is really easy to make!

You can get this in the oven in five minutes and spend the rest of the time doing something important. Like walking the dogs, doing hula hoops, or getting caught up on back episodes of Being Human. Hey, those monsters aren't going to watch themselves.

Throw some rice in the old rice cooker, toss a salad, and Bob's your uncle. Or not. My uncle's name was John. Close enough. Let's get cooking!

Psari Fournour ala Spetsiota
Baked Fish with Tomato
adapted from Food from Many Greek Kitchens, Tessa Kiros
for I♥CC, Lighten Up

4 boneless, skinless white fish fillets, such as tilapia
3 Tbsp olive oil
Juice and zest of one lemon
6 Tbsp white wine
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
14-oz can diced tomatoes
¼ cup celery leaves
¼ cup parsley, divided
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
Olive oil, for serving

Preheat oven to 350°F
Get out a shallow lasagne pan for the fish.
Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Put aside.
Mix lemon juice, zest, white wine, celery leaves, tomatoes, olive oil and half the parsley in a medium bowl.
Pour a couple of Tbsp in the bottom of the pan. Spread out and place the seasoned fillets on it. Top with remaining tomato mixture.
Bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on thickness of the fish.
Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with remaining parsley. Serve hot. 

IHCC Tessa Kiros Button IHCC

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Chuck Hughes Serves up Great Kid Fare from Scratch!

Deep fried food has been a staple in schools across Canada for too long. Unfortunately, school administrations don’t always have the funds or the equipment to provide healthier options to their students.

Realizing that a drastic change needed to be made, the École Camille J. Lerouge School applied for, and received, a $25,000 Hellmann’s Real Food Movement Grant to refurbish their kitchen appliances to provide kids with healthy lunch items everyday.

To make the menu changes even more exciting, real food advocate Chuck Hughes created a “kid-friendly” nutritious and delicious recipe for this school.

Below is the Chuck Hughes original, made-from-scratch Chicken Finger recipe being added to the École Camille J. Lerouge School real food menu, as of Monday, February 13th. This custom recipe is sure to be a hit with kids and loved by parents too!

Menu Items from Chuck Hughes

Chicken Fingers
2 Skinless Chicken breasts
Half cup of whole wheat flour
Half cup of Hellmann’s® mayonnaise
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs or panko
1 tsp of cajun spice
Half tsp of garlic powder
Salt and Pepper
Zest of a lemon

1. Cut strips of chicken and dredge in whole wheat flour.
2. coat the chicken with Hellmann’s® mayonnaise and toss in with the breadcrumbs, zest, cajun spice, garlic powder and Salt and Pepper.
3. Place strips on a plaque covered with parchment paper. Pre-heat oven at 400 degrees.
4. Place in oven for approx 25 minutes flipping them half-way.
5. Serve with Honey-Mustard, ketchup and Caesar mayonnaise.

Caesar mayonnaise...
Half cup Hellmann’s® mayonnaise
1 tsp of chopped capers
zest of half lemon and 1 tsp of juice
1 tbsp of chopped parsley
2 tbsp of grated parmesan
Salt and Pepper
Mix everything in a bowl and serve.

More Fun Menu Items from Chuck Hughes!

Veggie Sandwich
2 slices of whole grain bread toasted
1 slice of low-fat Swiss cheese or Havaarti
2 slices of tomato
2 leaves iceberg lettuce
4 slices of avocado
2 slices of roasted red pepper (optional)

Featured mayonnaise options:
Garlic Mayo…

1 cup Hellmann’s® mayonnaise
3 cloves of roasted garlic
1 tbsp of Chopped parsley
1 tsp chopped Dill (optional)
2 tbsp of grated Cucumber (optional)
Salt & Pepper (optional)

Zesty Mayo…
1 cup Hellmann’s® mayonnaise
Half a cup of caramelized onion
Half tsp smoked paprika
Zest of a half lemon-Salt & pepper (optional)

Chuck Hughes, the Tattooed Eggman!

Visit to hear more about 2011's grant
recipients, see what Chuck is up to or share your thoughts with the real food

And to find out about applying for the Real Food Grant program for 2012, click here!

About the Real Food Movement
Hellmann’s® was founded on the principle of using real, simple ingredients –
like eggs, oil and vinegar. This commitment to real ingredients is why
Hellmann’s® launched the Real Food Movement – a mission to help get more
real food on Canadian tables by inspiring families to smell, taste, touch and
learn about the pleasure that comes from eating real food. Canadians can
join the real food conversation and learn how to eat real at

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Armchair Novel Review: A Room Full of Bones

A Room Full of Bones
A Ruth Galloway Mystery
by Elly Griffiths
Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Also available as an eBook

Ruth Galloway is the Head of Forensic Archeology at the University of North Norforlk and is called in to supervise the unveiling of an ancient coffin, thought to hold the body of a medieval bishop. When she gets there the coffin is standing in the middle of the room, and the curator is laying dead beside it.

Thus begins the layers of mystery of A Room Full of Bones, set in modern day England but with a historic flair. The writing tense is in the immediate present, which you don't see very often, and the pace is fast and fascinating - unveiling several histories; of families, of British-Australian relations, and of ancient beliefs and customs.

Fans of Bones will love her British contemporary Ruth Galloway, with her complicated family life and keen intelligence.

Another great weekend read for us mystery lovers! 

Browse the book here:

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Homemade Raspberry Sauce

Some people like chocolate sauce on their ice cream. My son for instance likes to gild the lily and put chocolate sauce on every ice cream flavour, including chocolate. That's fine, Santa stocked him up with enough chocolate sauce to last him at least til summer.

But me, I like fruit more than chocolate. And I know I'm not alone. I see you out there, dreaming of lemons and limes and berries while the snow piles up on the windowsill. (Hopefully just the outside sill.)

There's not a lot of fruit in Canada in the winter, but there is plenty in my deep-freeze, just waiting to be used. And a bright pink tangy-tart raspberry sauce is just the thing to satisfy my fruity sweet-tooth.

Easy-peasy raspberry sauce that you can make at home. Try it on ice cream or stirred into plain yogurt. Delicious!

Homemade Raspberry Sauce
adapted from Apples for Jam, Tessa Kiros
for I♥CookingClubs In the Pink!

2½ Tbsp sugar
Juice of 1 lime
½ cup water
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

Heat up sugar, lime juice, and water in a small/medium pot. Let cook a few minutes (5-10) until reduced by half. Add in raspberries and cook another 2 minutes or so, until they are broken down somewhat in the sauce and heated through.
Whiz the sauce up in the blender until smooth and then strain in a fine mesh strainer to get the seeds out.
Serve on ice cream or yogurt.

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Saturday, 18 February 2012

Gulai Ayam with Roti Jala

Where are you right now?

I am in my office, trying not to notice the thick blanket of snow out the window, and dreaming of Malaysian food.

Of spicy chicken curry and spongy, lacy crepes for eating it with.

Forks are over-rated, everything should be eaten in a loving pinch of crepes.


Gulai Ayam
Coconut Milk Chicken Curry
adapted from Flatbreads and Flavors, Duguid and Alford

Spice Blends

Dry Spices
One 2-3 inch cinnamon stick
4 cloves
3 Tbsp coriander seed
1 Tbsp cumin seed

½ turmeric
2 tsp kosher salt

Wet Spices
4 dried red chillies, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes and drained
8 oz (½ lb) shallots, peeled and chopped
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
¼ cup unsalted cashews

Toast the dry spices, except the turmeric and salt, and grind fine in a spice grinder. Add the turmeric and salt and set aside.
Whiz up the wet spice mix in a food processor, set aside.


2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs and/or breasts, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 stalks lemongrass, bashed with the blunt edge of a knife, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 cup coconut milk, plus more if necessary
1 cup water
4 cups baby spinach leaves

Heat up the vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add in the wet spice mix and cook on medium/high for 4-5 minutes, stirring. Add in the dry spice mix and cook another minute. Add in chicken and stir to coat. Add in lemongrass, coconut milk and water. Let come to a boil, turn down heat and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, remove cover and cook another 15 minutes, letting sauce reduce and thicken. (Stir once in a while) Add in spinach and adjust seasonings and liquids to taste.
Serve with roti jala.

Roti Jala
Lacy Coconut Milk Crepes
adapted from Flatbreads and Flavors, Alford and Duguid

You can puncture the bottom of a can to create the holes for the batter to run through, or use a perforated spoon, as I did. 

1 cup AP flour
½ tsp table salt
10 oz canned coconut milk, shaken
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 large egg

Combine the flour and salt well, make a well in the centre. Add in the liquids and stir well until smooth. Cover and let rest 30 minutes.

Heat up a non-stick crepe pan or lightly oiled cast iron pan to medium.
Lightly stir the batter and scoop up enough batter to make one crepe. Transfer to your perforated can or spoon over the hot pan and make swirling motions to make a lacy crepe. Cook 30 seconds on one side, a little less on the other, and stack on a plate lined with a tea-towel - with wax paper between each crepe to keep them from sticking together. Cover the finished stack with a tea-towel to keep them warm for serving.

BYOB Badge Baking through Flatbreads and Flavors, February Breads part two.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Bread Baking Babes bake Biscotti Picanti

4 years of babedom! Now, how to celebrate?
Wine? But of course! 
Bread? Heck yes!
Bread with wine in it?
Now you are talking!

Bread Baking Babe Lien chose the perfect party fare for our anniversary bread. Biscotti Picanti is perfect with wine and cheese, our favourite bread accompaniments. The recipe is from Anissa Helou's Savory Baking from the Mediterranean and she has very kindly given us permission to feature it this month on our blogs.

The dough comes together quite easily, with rest times for the semolina to absorb the liquids. Like some of the other Babes, I subbed in extra wine for the water and added it by feel.
Mine took a long time to rise in my chilly Canadian kitchen, and got a little smooshed down again when I cut them, but the results were crispy, crumbly delicious. I like them with a smear of cream cheese and a glass of white wine.

If you would like to bake with us this month, and earn a Bread Baking Buddy badge, check out Lien's post for all the groovy details.

 Biscotti Picanti (Sicilian Spicy Rusks)
(makes about 36 rusks)

2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (1 package = 7 grams)
60 ml warm water
1 ⅔ (± 225-255 g) cups AP-flour (+ extra for kneading and shaping)
1 ⅔ (240 g) cups semolina flour
¼ cups (25 g) aniseed
3 Tbsp (28 g) white sesame seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ cup + 2 Tbsp (150 ml/130 g) extra-virgin olive oil (+ extra for greasing the bowl)
¼ cup (60 ml) dry white wine
115 ml water

1. Dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup/60 ml warm water and stir until creamy.

2. Combine flours, aniseed, sesame seeds, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Add the olive oil in the well and rub into the flour with your fingertips until well incorporated.

3. Add yeast, wine and ½ cup (115 ml) warm water en knead briefly to make a rough ball of dough. Knead this for another 3-5 minutes or so. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
Knead for another 3 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and let rise in a lightly greased bowl, covered with greased plastic, for 1 hour in a warm place (or until doubled).

 4. Divide the dough in 3 equal pieces and shape each piece into a loaf about 12”( 30 cm) long.
Transfer the logs to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and leaving at least 2 inches/5 cm between them so they can expand. Take a dough cutter (or sharp knife) and cut the loaves into 1 inch/2,5 cm thick slices (or if you prefer them thinner in 1"/1 cm slices). Cover with greased plastic and let the rise for about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 500ºF/260ºC.

5. Bake the sliced loaves for 15 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 175ºF/80ºC.
Separate the slices and turn so that they lie flat on the baking sheet. Return to the oven and bake for about 1 hour more, or until golden brown and completely hardened (if not totally hardened, return to the turned off oven to let them dry more).Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Serve at room temperature, or store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

(source: “Savory baking from the Mediterranean” - Anissa Helou)

 The Bread Baking Babes
This bread has been YeastSpotted!

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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

La Tartine Gourmande - Recipes for an Inspired Life

La Tartine Gourmande
Recipes for an Inspired Life

Written by Béatrice Peltre
Hardcover, 320 pages

I have to admit - what drew me in first was the stunning photography. Look at those colours! So very alive and inviting. In fact each recipe in La Tartine Gourmande reflects that joy for good, fresh ingredients and the vibrancy of whole foods.

The author, Béatrice Peltre of the award winning blog, offers up a beautiful collection of recipes inspired from her homeland, France, as well as her extensive travels around the world. Her recipes are healthy and naturally gluten-free and delightfully uncomplicated to make.

Chapters Include:

Part One: My Kitchen

My Ingredients
My Equipment
My Basic Recipes and Methods
Basic Recipes
Basic Cooking Techniques

Part Two: The Recipes

Breakfast and Brunch to Inspire

Lunches to Inspire
A Tartine and a Bowl of Soup
Le pique-nique (The Picnic)
Casual Lunches with Friends

Dinners to Inspire
The Party with Small Bites
Dinners for Getaway Weekends
Casual Dinners with Friends
Sophisticated and Elegant Dinners

Desserts to Inspire
French Childhood Memories
A Love for Fruit
Everyday Baking 
Beautiful and Irresistible Desserts

Try these inspiring recipes in your home this weekend!

Potato Nests Filled with Gingered Crab

These potato nests are among the cutest finger foods I enjoy preparing. Don’t be fooled by their appearance— they might look complicated, but in reality they are very simple to make. And the result is a delectable adventure with every bite.

Makes 18 to 20 nests

1 large (225 g; 8 oz) baking potato or sweet potato, peeled and finely grated
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Sea salt
Crushed red or black peppercorns
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 organic green apple, cored and diced
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 cup (100 g; 3 ½ oz) cooked fresh crabmeat
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 scallion, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon chopped chives, plus a few sprigs to serve
Crème fraîche, to serve
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, to serve
Fleur de sel, to serve

Preheat the oven to 420F (215C). Oil a mini muffin pan or two with cooking spray; set aside.
In a bowl, beat the grated potato with the egg and nutmeg. Add the parsley and season with sea salt and crushed red peppercorns. Take a small amount of the grated potatoes in your hands and squeeze out the excess liquid. Press this into the bottom of each muffin hole in the shape of a nest; repeat with the remaining grated potatoes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of melted butter to each nest.
Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are crisp and golden in color. Unmold the nests and let cool on a rack.
In a bowl, gently toss the apple with the lime juice, crab, oil, cilantro, scallion, and chives. Season with sea salt and pepper. Using a teaspoon, spoon a small amount of filling inside each potato nest. Add a dollop of crème fraîche and a few pomegranate seeds. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and decorate with a few chive sprigs.

Excerpted from La Tartine Gourmande by Beatrice Peltre. Copyright © 2012 by Beatrice Peltre. Excerpted by permission of Roost Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Lemon and Honey- Flavored Chicken with Zebra Tomatoes and Haricots

The lemon juice, honey, and oregano in which this chicken dish is cooked give you a scrumptious zesty sauce to dip your bread in! Sometimes I like to add grated ginger to give the dish an exotic hint — also because anything cooked with ginger makes me happy. For more flavor, marinate the meat for an hour before cooking it, or even brine it first, but if you’re short on time, skipping these steps is just fine. Zebra tomatoes have a subtly sweet taste that I find irresistible. If you have difficulty finding them, use another variety instead. And as for the oregano, any Mediterranean herbs, such as thyme or marjoram, for example, work well too.

Serves 4

Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
4 chicken legs (about 2 pounds; 900g), each cut in half, or 8 drumsticks
4 green zebra tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup unpitted black kalamata olives
1/4 cup cold water
1 pound (450 g) haricots verts (thin French green beans)
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, honey, oregano, garlic, and oil. Season with sea salt and pepper and mix until smooth. Arrange the chicken legs in an oven dish and coat them with this sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Add the tomatoes, olives, and 1/4 cup water to the chicken, place in the oven, and bake for 50 minutes, or until golden brown.
While the chicken is cooking, blanch the haricots verts in a pot of salted boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse them under cold water to stop them from cooking; set aside. Five minutes before the chicken is done, add the haricots verts to the dish. When you’re ready to serve, add the parsley. Enjoy with steamed potatoes, mashed potatoes, or steamed rice on the side — and don’t forget the bread to sop up the sauce.
Note on brining meat: When you take the time to brine legs of chicken, for example, you end up with extremely tender meat. The way I do it is as follows: For the brine, count about 1 quart (4 cups) water for every pound (450 g) of chicken. For 2 quarts, use 1/2 cup kosher salt, 3 tablespoons of sea salt, and 4 tablespoons of fine sugar. Combine the ingredients in a large bowl and immerse the chicken legs in this salty water. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours. When ready to use, drain the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels.

Excerpted from La Tartine Gourmande by Beatrice Peltre. Copyright © 2012 by Beatrice Peltre. Excerpted by permission of Roost Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Fruit

It's no secret that my favourite cookie is oatmeal raisin. There is something about the hearty chewiness and mild sweetness that I find very comforting. A good oatmeal cookie is halfway to being a granola bar, likely more healthy than supermarket granola bars anyway, and can be eaten at any time of day. They are the perfect treat to have in the cake dome for random munchies.

But sometimes I like to switch it up a bit; try new recipes, and new fruits.
For these oatmeal cookies I have used dried figs, apricots, and cranberries. Each cookie is a jeweled treasure.

Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Fruit
adapted from BHG New Baking Book
for Cookbook Sundays #10

¼ cup each- dried figs, apricots and cranberries. Snip the figs and apricots.
¾ cup butter, room temp
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats
½ cup chopped nuts, such as hazelnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat your oven to 375°F
Cream butter in your stand mixer with the paddle for a minute. Add in sugars and beat until well creamed.
Beat in baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda.
Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.
Add in as much flour as you can with the paddle. Then start stirring with a heavy duty wooden spoon.
Add the remaining ingredients - batter will be quite stiff.
Mix until evenly incorporated.
Drop by large Tbsps onto a prepared baking sheet. I use a disher.
Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes, rotate pans and bake another couple of minutes, until you just start to see some colour around the edges and a little on top.
Let cool on racks.


Friday, 10 February 2012

Overnight Baking - French Buns!

One of the things I like most about Peter Reinhart's books is his joyful sense of experimentation and adventure. Each book concentrates on a few interesting techniques for bread baking. In Artisan Breads Every Day, he uses the make it now and bake it later approach to bread baking, which can be very handy. The dough is whipped up the night before, sleeps in the fridge overnight or for up to 4 days, and is baked off at your convenience! Very handy indeed. Also, the delayed fermentation gives the dough more complex flavour and easier digestibility.

I tried my hand at his classic French bread, recipe make public by NPR, and found that it made for delightful little sandwich buns. And we are all about the delightful little sandwich buns in my house. ☺

You could also make regular baguettes or batards if you wish.

Try it this weekend!

Classic French Bread - Overnight Method
Recipe from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day
online recipe sourced from
Makes 2 large loaves, 4 small loaves, or many rolls. (I made 12 rolls)

5-1/3 cups (24 oz / 680 g) unbleached bread flour
2 teaspoons (0.5 oz / 14 g) salt, or 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
2-1/4 teaspoons (0.25 oz / 7 g) instant yeast
2 cups (16 oz / 454 g) lukewarm water (about 95°F or 35°C)

Do Ahead

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. If using a mixer, use the paddle attachment and mix on the lowest speed for 1 minute. If mixing by hand, use a large spoon and stir for 1 minute, until well blended and smooth. If the spoon gets too doughy, dip it in a bowl of warm water. The dough should form a coarse shaggy ball. Let it rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed for 2 minutes or knead by hand for about 2 minutes, adjusting with flour or water as needed. The dough should be smooth, supple, and tacky but not sticky.

Whichever mixing method you use, knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured work surface for about 1 minute more, then transfer it to a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then immediately refrigerate overnight or for up to 4 days. If the dough feels too wet and sticky, do not add more flour; instead, stretch and fold it one or more times at 10-minute intervals, as shown on page 18, before putting it in the refrigerator. (If you plan to bake the dough in batches over different days, you can portion the dough and place it into two or more oiled bowls at this stage.)

I think that you would see a larger hole structure with added time in the fridge, I baked mine off the next day.
On Baking Day

Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 2 hours before you plan to bake. Gently transfer it to a lightly floured work surface, taking care to degas it as little as possible. For baguettes and batards, divide the cold dough into 10-ounce (283 g) pieces; for 1 pound boules, divide the dough into 19-ounce (53 g) pieces; and for freestanding loaves, use whatever size you prefer.

Form the dough into batards and/or baguettes (see pages 21 and 22) or boules (see page 20). Mist the top of the dough with spray oil, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and proof at room temperature for about 1-1/2 hours, until increased to 1-1/2 times its original size.

About 45 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 550°F (288°C) or as high as it will go, and prepare the oven for hearth baking (see page 30).

Remove the plastic wrap from the dough 15 minutes prior to baking; if using proofing molds, transfer the dough onto a floured peel.

Just prior to baking, score the dough 1/2 inch deep with a serrated knife or razor. Transfer the dough to the oven, pour 1 cup of hot water into the steam pan, then lower the oven temperature to 450°F (232°C).

Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 15 to 25 minutes, until the crust is a rich golden brown, the loaves sound hollow when thumped, and the internal temperature is about 200°F (93°C) in the center. For a crisper crust, turn off the oven and leave the bread in for another 5 minutes before removing.

Cool the bread on a wire rack for at least 45 minutes before slicing or serving.


By simply varying the method so that the shaped loaves undergo cold fermentation, rather than the freshly mixed bulk dough, you can create a spectacular loaf with a distinctive blistered crust. After the dough is mixed and placed in a clean, oiled bowl, let it rise at room temperature for about 90 minutes, until doubled in size. Divide and shape as described above, mist with spray oil, then cover the shaped dough loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight, away from anything that might fall on it or restrict it from growing.

The next day, remove the dough from the refrigerator 1 hour before baking. It should have grown to at least 1-1/2 times its original size. Prepare the oven for hearth baking, as described on page 30. While the oven is heating, remove the plastic wrap and let the dough sit uncovered for 10 minutes. Score the dough while it's still cold, then bake as described above.

This bread has been YeastSpotted!

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