No knead olive bread

No knead olive bread Ramadan Mubarak to all my wonderful readers who observe it.

Hello everyone :) Yes, I am still here and I have not vanished off the face of the earth lol Moving  a family from one country to another is a huge adventure and regardless of how prepared you think you are, you are sure to get a few pleasant surprises along the way :) I will  do my best to reply to your emails , questions and comments soon, thank you for your patience .In my upcoming posts I will tell you more about the whole  move experience and hopefully manage to tell you a little more about Ramadan before this beautiful month is over.

In the mean time, there is nothing like a  Secret recipe club reveal date to get me out of my blogging slumber.

The assignment

For the month of July, my assigned blog was Della cucina povera. The beautiful Francesca describes her blog as being about a tuscan way of life. Using simple, seasonal ingredients and forgiving measurements. Francesca’s mother is Italian and her father is Iranian and she grew up enjoying this mix in her family’s restaurant in Washington. Later on, she traveled through out  North America, the Middle East, Asia and Europe in the pursuit of adventure. She shares the stories and recipes she came across on those foreign paths.

The recipe: no knead olive bread

After a tour in Francesca’s archives,I decided to go for her no knead bread because at the time of preparing this recipe, we were packing and anything with minimum effort and involvement seemed like the perfect choice. Added to that, I have been intrigued by the idea of no knead bread for quite some time and as always, I find that  secret recipe club assignments are the perfect opportunity to cross things off my “must try soon” list.

 The result:

The bread as the name implies requires no kneading, it relies on slow fermentation instead. All you have to do is invest 5 minutes to mix up the ingredients and then let time do the magic. The end result is a loaf of bread with a beautiful crisp walnut colored crust and a soft and chewy interior. The olives scattered throughout the crumb add color and a delicious richness to the bread.

My addition to the recipe was a tablespoon of rosemary, simply because I think rosemary and black olives are a match made in heaven, especially when bread is concerned. If you have never tried the two together, please do. You can thank me later :)

I found the process of making this bread reminiscent of sourdough bread . The wet dough, the long fermentation and the final shaping of the bread.The difference is that a sourdough starter adds a certain richness and depth of flavor to the bread in addition to being a leavening agent.

No knead bread

No knead olive bread

Recipe source: From Jim Lahey’s My Bread. Ingredients

  • 3 Cups Bread Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cup Kalamata Olives, pitted, drained, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 Teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 Cups cool water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (optional)

Method

Preparing the dough

In a bowl mix the flour and yeast Add the drained,pitted,chopped olives and the rosemary Add the water and mix using your hands or a spoon step1 Cover the mix and allow it to rest at room temperature for 14-18 hours The dough will turn into a bubbly mess! That is actually OK because it means that the yeast is active and it has done its job step2

 

Shaping the dough

Scrape your dough onto a heavily floured surface (the dough will be very wet and almost batter like in consistency)

Liberally flour the top of the dough and just fold it a few times.

If you find that the dough is too sticky, add more flour

Eventually you want it to be firm enough to form a ball or loaf with it.

Take a large tea towel and sprinkle it liberally with flour, then plop your dough in the center, and cover your dough with the corners of your tea towel. (I personally proofed my bread on the baking sheet but that resulted in it spreading during baking, next time I will probably proof in in a pan and bake it in it as well)

Let the loaf ferment and proof for another two hours.

step 3 After your bread has been proofing for about 90 minutes, preheat your oven to AS HOT AS YOU CAN.

Bake  until the edges are golden brown and when you knock on the “back” of the bread, and it gives you a nice hollow sound.( it took me 30 minutes, the original recipe calls for 40-50 minutes, ovens vary. please keep that in mind) step 4 Allow the bread to cool down completely on a wire rack before cutting into it no knead bread - chef in disguiseNo knead bread

Notes:

The bread spread quite a bit during baking, I would suggest making it in a loaf pan if you want it to retain its shape. It was still quite tasty but when sliced it was a little on the thin side.

 

خبز الزيتون بدون عجن

ثلاث اكواب طحين

واحد و نصف كوب زيتون اسود مبزر و مصفى من الماء و مفروم

ثلاث ارباع ملعقه صغيره خميره

واحد و نصف كوب ماء

ملعقه كبيره اكليل الجبل مفروم

لتحضير العجين

اخلطي الطحين و الخميره

اضيفي الزيتون و كليل الجبل

اضيفي الماء و حركي باليد او بملعقه خشبيه

غطي العجين و دعيه يرتاح من 14-18 ساعه

سيتحول العجين الى قوام سائل مليء بالفقاقيع

لتشكيل العجين

رشي كميه من الطحين على سطح العجن و صبي العجين فوقه

رشي العجين بالكثير من الطحين و اثني العجين على نفسه عده مرات

اذا احسستي ان العجين لازال لزجا و يلصق باليد اضيفي المزيد من الطحين

استمري باضافه الطحين و ثني العجين على نفسه حتى يصبح متماسك و يمكن تشكيله على شكل كره

شكليه على شكل كرة و ضعيه على صينيه الخبز و غطيه مده ساعتين

يمكنك ايضا تخميره برش فوطه بالكثير من الطحين ووضع العجين في وسطها ثم اغلقي الفوطه على العجين و دعيه يتخمر

ضعي العجين على صينيه الخبز و اخبزيه في فرن محمى مسبقا على اعلى درجه حراره يصلها فرنك

اخبزيه حتى تصبح اطرافه ذهبيه و اذا طرقتي على الرغيف من الاسفل يعطي صوت اجوف

اخرجي الخبز من الفرن و دعيه يبرد

About these ads

Mediterranean couscous salad

Couscous salad   Yesterday I shared my recipe for making Palestinian couscous (Maftoul) from scratch and promised you the recipe for this Mediterranean salad, so here goes :) You can make this salad using regular couscous but making it with maftoul makes the texture of the salad much more interesting and the nutty taste added by the whole wheat flour in the maftoul adds a wonderful depth of flavor (more…)

Maftoul (Palestinian couscous): How to make couscous from scratch

Maftoul, palestinian couscous recipes

For the month of May, it was my pleasure to host the Daring Cooks challenge

A year ago I hosted my first challenge, at the time, I chose cheese making because it is a wonderful skill to add to your repertoire. This time around I wanted to choose a challenge that represents my own heritage. Something Palestinian, something fun and tasty, something challenging but worth the trouble.

You may have come across the terms couscous, Moghrabiah or Maftoul. They may seem like tongue twisters at first but they are actually three variants of  hand-rolled pasta that are versatile and tasty. What sets maftoul apart from couscous or moghrabieh is the size of the pasta granules. Couscous has the smallest granules (about 1 mm in diameter)  while moghrabiah has the largest (about the size of chickpeas). Maftoul is middle ground between the two. Maftoul’s hand rolled tiny pasta pearls are 2-3 mm in diameter  and they are made out of a mixture of whole wheat and all purpose flour rolled around a center of bulgur which gives it a nutty earthy note that is unique and a slightly deeper color.Couscous on the other hand is made out of pure white flour and it is rolled around a center of semolina giving it a lighter color and a more neutral taste.

For this challenge we will be making maftoul (also known as Palestinian couscous) from scratch.

 Why maftoul?

Well, because eating maftoul with those tiny balls rolling wonderfully on your tongue, really enhances the eating experience, even in a simple salad. It is also so easy and forgiving to cook. Unlike couscous, which can turn mushy if soaked for too long or in too much liquid, maftoul can be boiled in salted water, like other pasta, until tender but still retaining a bite (if you cook it like this, drain and dress it while it’s still warm, so the flavours can sink in and settle). But it can also be cooked using the absorption method (ideally in a good stock) much as you’d cook rice. And, like couscous, it can also be steamed over stock or water, which gives a fluffier, lighter consistency. (This happens to be my favorite mode of cooking and it is also the traditional way of doing it). Once cooked maftoul provides you with a world of options, you can add it  to soups, stews, salads or sauces, or you can serve it plain alongside a piece of meat, chicken or fish and I guarantee it will make your meal memorable , unique and tasty every time

(more…)

No bake vegan almond date bars

Vegan raw date nut and oatmeal bars

My kids have a love affair with oatmeal, they would happily eat anything with the word oatmeal in it.  Refrigerator oatmeal, granola, cookies, you name it. When it was time to choose my secret recipe club assignment, I went through the Saturday evening pot’s archives.I bookmarked their Berry Smoothies with Hidden Greens,  and their Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables and Balsamic Vinegar recipe among many others. Then I came across this recipe for no bake fruit crumble bars and I instantly knew that this was the one! Before I can get to the recipe let me tell you a little about my assigned blog. The Saturday evening pot is run by the Chef, who graduated from Johnson and Wales University with a degree in Culinary Arts and has always loved cooking.His family, The Lucky Wife and The Well-Fed Kids, who get to be the taste-testers of his new creations .They share their food adventures and recipes through their blog Raw vegan date almond bars This particular recipe was made by the Lucky wife. I loved it because it was quick, easy,nutritious, lunch box friendly and of course it had oatmeal in it. I adapted the recipe a little using dates as  a filling instead of jam, I also added a few spices to jazz things up a bit. I used dates because I wanted to try these bars in their purest form, raw, vegan and with out any added sugar. Why you may ask? Well until recently a recipe described as raw, vegan and without sugar was one I would not even consider. It must be bland and tasteless I always told myself but the more I read about the health benefits of raw and vegan food, the more I am tempted to give recipes like this one a try. So I ventured on,and I am happy to report that after trying these bars, the result blew me away. The crust had a wonderful texture with the earthy oats, the nutty almonds , the hint of coconut and slight sweetness provided by the dates. The filling added a spicy sweet note without making these bars overly sweet. The best part is that the kids loved them so much that they demanded them for school and I was more than happy to oblige. (more…)

Sushi salad with ginger soy dressing

sushi salad with ginger dressing 2

No winter lasts forever

Spring is officially here and with the kids freshly out of their mid-term exams it was time for a picnic. A time to have fun, recharge and hunt for color.

The kids had a blast chasing butterflies and lady bugs, climbing trees, picking flowers and building a mini fire with my brother to make tea and grilled cheese sandwiches. I personally took the time to soak up the peace and quite away from all noise and mono tones of the city.A cup of tea and a view like this are some of life’s simplest yet most valuable joys

beautiful spring

 

yellow flowers

 Have you ever wished trees could talk?

I know it sounds crazy but on numerous occasions, I wished trees could talk.  During our picnic we came across this tree, I was simply fascinated by its trunk! I would have loved to listen to what this tree had to tell about the decades it stood there watching, listening and growing. I would happily spend hours listening to her story about how she overcame whatever it was that left that mark in her trunk and how she managed to find the strength to go on..

chef in disguise jordan

 

(more…)

%d bloggers like this: