Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quick and Easy Sea Salt Bread

Sometimes you just need a good loaf of bread. But somehow, many are frightened by the prospect of baking bread. They fear complexity and difficulty in their cooking; they would rather make something that can be thrown together in just a few minutes.

Don't worry! This is easy bread. A minimum of ingredients, and good ingredients, make for a delicious breakfast food, a lovely snack, or even a fantastic way to make a memorable sandwich. Try it out! I promise, it's easy.

Sea Salt Bread


2 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 C warm water
1/2 C cool water
1 tsp active yeast
dash sugar
sea salt

1) Whisk together the flour, yeast, sugar, and a dash of sea salt, until it is all blended and the flour is smooth.

2) Add the warm water, a little at a time, and blend thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Once it becomes thick enough, dust your hands with flour and knead the dough until smooth.

3) Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let it sit. Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C.

4) When the oven is ready, uncover the dough and knead it again. Add the cool water and continue to knead until it becomes sticky.

5) Put the dough in a greased loaf pan and shape to the desired appearance. Sprinkle sea salt crystals over the top.

6) Bake for around 45 minutes to an hour, or until pleasantly golden.

7) Set on a rack to cool.

Tips and Such

- You can test to make sure bread is done by inserting a toothpick in the middle. If it comes out clean, the bread has baked throughout. This is helpful so that you don't accidentally take a loaf of bread out before it has thoroughly baked, leaving it underbaked in the centre!

- It is essential that you either have a rack or constantly move your bread so that it can cool. If you don't have a rack, you'll have bread with a soggy bottom. It'll ruin the lovely crisp crust! If you don't have a rack, you can prop the bread at an angle so the steam can escape.

- If you want to, you can omit the salt topping. It adds a zing to the taste, but it's not necessary if you prefer to use less salt.

- Use a bread box or cover the bread so that it doesn't dry out. Freshly-baked bread tends to dry out within a few days, and it becomes largely inedible by itself. You can still use old bread, though, as croutons, to make bread pudding, or to make a traditional dish developed by the French. Called pain perdu, which means 'lost bread', it was developed to make a use for bread that had hardened and become unusable for anything else. Dipped in egg and cooked, it is known to most of the rest of the world as French toast!

I hope you will enjoy my simple sea salt bread. Homemade bread doesn't have to be difficult, and it can bring such a warmth to the hearts of all who eat it. Enjoy some today! It doesn't take a lot of effort or time. And your kitchen will smell wonderful.

};) Dhiar <3

Fakin' Bacon

Many people enjoy the smoky flavours of things like bacon, but when you don't eat meat, your options are limited. These days you can get pre-made items, which are generally tasty. But what if you don't have any in the house? Or what if you like the taste, but want it on something else?

I have just the thing for you!

Jazz up those veggie dogs, spruce up that falafel! Here's a sauce you can make that you can use for preparing anything with a delightfully smoky flavour.

Smoke Gets in Your Sauce


3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp liquid smoke
1 tsp sugar

1) Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Use as a marinade near the end of cooking, or a dipping sauce.

Tips and Such

- If you want to make facon, as it's commonly called, press a block of tofu and then slice it into thin slices. Cook it in an oil of your choice until it is golden and has become a little crispy. Add the sauce to it and cook it until it is crispy. Serve hot.

- This sauce is best added at the end, when the food is almost finished cooking, but has enough time left to soak in the flavours. You don't want to put it on too early, because the nature of the sauce means that it will cook on quickly and may burn if cooked too long.

- A couple of spoonfuls should be enough for a couple of veggie dogs, so if you have any left, just refrigerate it.

- Be sure to pay attention when buying liquid smoke. Most liquid smoke is made in a vegan style, but not all. Check out the ingredients when you pick up your bottle!

This recipe is quick and easy, and it's sure to please anyone with a craving for that smoky flavour. Try it on some of your favourite foods!

};) Dhiar <3