We had to turn off our air conditioner today the construction workers were making so much dust it looked like a foret fire. We figured it might all be sucked into the apartment by the A/C - as we were going out it didn't matter too much, but I am slightly concerned about next year when they finally get round to us, that if it is as hot as it has been this year, we might end up suffocating. The balcony doors are locked shut (I don't know how) on the ones they are re-doing. Ours is OK at the moment, but for the future. Oh well, we will find out I guess.
Not a whole helluva lot happening in our lives at the moment. I do have to go to the family doc for the results of my blood tests a couple of weeks ago to see if I can stay off my statin pills. I also hope I can go for another injection from my orthopaedic surgeon (Dougie Howser) who is so young looking to fix my bursitis.
I have always liked different breads, especially rustic recipes or Italian and French breads. The Maltese used to have a fabulously crusty bread too. So when I saw this one it appealed to me although I would probably never make it myself these days. It looks delicious though.
"Kneadless" Black Olive and Herb Yeast Loaves
Makes: 2 large loaves, about 12 slices each
These rustic olive- and herb-flecked loaves are light-textured, flavorful, aromatic and crisp on top. They are a fine accompaniment to many hearty soups and stews. To simplify preparations, kneading is skipped and the gluten is developed by beating the dough with an electric mixer. Although the recipe calls for regular active dry yeast, a quick-rise or rapid-rise yeast may be substituted by slightly reducing the total amount used; the rising times may be a little shorter than for regular yeast. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
1 1/2 Tbs (about 2 packets) active dry yeast, or 1 tablespoon quick-rising yeast
2/3 cup lukewarm water, plus 2 1/2 cups hot (110-115°F) water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 Tbs flavorful olive oil, plus more for brushing
3 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs finely chopped fresh chives, or 2 teaspoons dried
1 1/4 tsp (generous) dried oregano and dried thyme leaves, or 3 1/2 tablespoons finely minced fresh rosemary leaves
2 1/4 tsp salt
3 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour or white whole-wheat flour, (see Tip), plus a little more for dusting
2/3 cup well-drained, pitted and finely chopped Niçoise, Kalamata or other very flavorful brined black olives
1. In a 1-cup measure, sprinkle yeast over 2/3 cup lukewarm water. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the yeast dissolves.
2. Place all-purpose flour, oil, sugar, chives, oregano and thyme (or rosemary) and salt in a large mixing bowl. Beat in the 2 1/2 cups hot water with an electric mixer on low speed (using a paddle attachment if possible) until well blended and smooth. Slowly beat in the yeast mixture until evenly incorporated. Gradually raise the speed to medium (or almost to the point the mixture begins to splatter), and beat for 4 minutes if using a heavy-duty stand mixer or 5 minutes if using a hand mixer.
3. Using a large wooden spoon, vigorously stir whole-wheat flour and olives into the dough until evenly incorporated; it’s all right if the dough is slightly sticky and wet. Turn out the dough into a very large lightly oiled bowl. Lightly brush the top of the dough with olive oil until evenly covered. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot (see Tip) until the dough doubles in bulk, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
4. Generously coat 2 round 1 1/2- to 2-quart (6- to 8-cup capacity) ovenproof casseroles or souffle dishes with cooking spray. Coat your hand with cooking spray; press down the dough in the bowl, then divide it between the prepared baking dishes. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top of each; with your fingertips, smooth out the dough and evenly brush it with the oil. Sprinkle each loaf with about 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour until evenly coated. Loosely cover the dishes with plastic wrap. Set in a warm spot until the dough rises to the plastic wrap, 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours (depending on the temperature of your room).
5. Remove the plastic wrap; let the dough rise until it's about 1/4 to 1/2 inch above the rims, 15 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
6. Transfer the loaves to the middle of the oven; avoid jarring, as they may deflate. Bake until the tops are nicely browned, about 30 minutes. Remove the loaves from the dishes (run a table knife around the edge to loosen if necessary), place top-side up on a baking sheet, and continue baking until they are well browned on top and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let the loaves cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Cut into thick wedges.
Have a great day