No Knead Bread

I’ve had a few No Knead Bread recipes pinned to my Pinterest Bread board for at least a year.  I kept saying I wanted to make one, but just never got around to it.

I made and decorated a dozen hard boiled eggs this past weekend.  No, I don’t have any children living at home, however, I do still like to decorate eggs.  So, why not?  This, however, means I have a lot of egg salad to eat.  Hey, it’s a good time to try out one of the No Knead Bread recipes I have.

The one I chose is very simple.  Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl.  Leave the bowl out (do not refrigerate) for 12 to 20 hours.  Form the very loose dough into a bread shape, then bake.

The recipe is adapted from Mom’s Dish:

3 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (or 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

The night before you plan to bake the bread, combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl by mixing the dry ingredients well first, then adding the water.  The water should be no warmer than 120*F.  This will make a shaggy mess of a batter, but it’s okay.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and then leave it on the counter for at least 12 hours.

After 12 hours, your dough should have raised at to at least double it’s size and look like this:

Nice and bubbly

Nice and bubbly

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and flour the parchment paper.  Flour your hands well, and dump the dough onto the cookie sheet.  I wanted a ciabatta loaf, so I formed the dough into a long, wide loaf.  If you want to make round loaves, divide the dough in half, and form each half into a round (you’ll need two cookies sheets for this).  As you’ll see in the following picture, the dough spreads out to almost the whole length and width of a 15″ by 10″ cookie sheet.

Boil about 2 cups of water, and put into the oven on the bottom rack.  Place the dough on the top rack and let the dough raise until it’s double in size again.  When it is risen, it will be jiggly as you take it out of the oven, but the dough will have a nice skin on it.

It's ready to bake

It’s ready to bake

Take out the warm water from the oven, then preheat the oven to 375*F.  As your oven is heating up, boil the water again.  Once the oven is to temperature, place the water on the bottom rack, and the dough on the top rack.  Bake for 10 minutes, then take the water out of the oven.  Bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the bread is golden brown.

Beautiful ciabatta bread

Beautiful ciabatta bread

And finally, I can have a sandwich!

So worth the wait!

So worth the wait!

Next time I make this, I’m going to put it in a 9 inch by 13 inch cake pan.  It’ll make it more uniform and give it a bit more height when it’s in it’s second rise.


Dog treats

Is it treat time?

Is it treat time?

This is my beautiful companion dog, Piffany.  No, not “Epiphany”.  Not “Tiffany”.  Yes, I know it’s confusing.  I named her after a character in Nodwick (a geek comic).  If you don’t know who the character Piffany is, no amount of explaining will ever work.  If you do know who Piffany is, then I don’t have to explain it.  😉  (Or go and start reading the comic at the link.  I’ve linked to the first comic.  If you like it, you’re welcome, but don’t complain to me about the time sink. 😉 )

Piffany is a great dog.  She works really hard to earn her keep in my house.  I have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) among other things.  Piffany knows the signs when I’m going into a flashback, or when the paranoia or other issues are getting to me.  If she notices I’m about to go into a flashback before I enter one, she jumps up on me and starts licking my face.

Yup, dog kisses.  That’ll stop a flashback right quick.  If I’m already in a flashback by the time she notices (and she does have to sleep sometime), she’ll cuddle on me so she’s there when I come out of it.  Also, she has woken me up out of night memory dreams by licking me until I can come out of it.

She’s pretty important to me.

So, when I found out that she had a major allergy issue with many grains and additives that were in many premade dog foods and dog treats, I knew I had to do something.  After much searching on the web, I finally came up with my own recipe for dog treats that she loves.  Seriously, she will do almost anything for one of these treats.

The problem with making dog treats for her is that when I’m making human treats (aka, cake, cookies, etc), she thinks they are for her, and can’t understand why I won’t give her any!

Pumpkin Applesauce Dog Treats

1 cup pumpkin puree (I used pumpkin left over from juicing pie pumpkins in the fall, but a good canned pumpkin, with no additives should be okay)
1/2 cup applesauce (again, I usually make my own, but a no sugar, no additives applesauce works well)
1/2 cup coconut oil (if you don’t have coconut oil, olive oil works fine)
2 tablespoons honey
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 and 3/4 cup oat flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350* F.

If you are using the coconut oil, microwave it for about 30 seconds so it’s liquid.  Make sure your applesauce, pumpkin, and egg are room temperature, or it will solidify the coconut oil immediately.

Mix the applesauce and pumpkin together with a whisk.  Add the coconut oil, and blend well.  Beat in the egg and the honey.  Add the baking powder and the oat flour one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Finally, add the coconut flour and cinnamon, mixing it well.  It will be stiff, but still pretty sticky.  Set it aside for a few minutes.

At this point, take some parchment paper and cut it to just bigger than your cookie sheet.  When you are done with that, the coconut and oat flour should have absorbed all the liquid.  Spread it into your pan as best as possible.  I usually start with the hands and get it spread out, and then I finish using a rolling pin.  You want it to be about 1/4″ thick all the way through.  Once it’s all the way spread out (and you will probably have to take the parchment out of the pan for the rolling), score the dough into bite sized pieces appropriate for your dog.

Bake for between 30 to 45 minutes.  You want to see no moisture in the middle of the treat.  When it has no moisture in the middle of the treat, it will be a nice, hard, crunchy hardtack style biscuit, once it cools.  Or, if your dog doesn’t like the hard treats, then you can cook it for only 25 minutes.  It will be soft, but you’ll have to keep the treats in the refrigerator.  Piffany prefers the hardtack style biscuit.

This will make a TON of treats for a small dog!  It keeps well in an airtight container or ziplock bag.

Eggnog Cupcakes


Ready for our close up!

I have been searching for a good recipe for egg nog cupcakes for a couple of months, ever since eggnog hit the stores in October.  Each time I’d make them, the cupcakes would crater in the middle,


So, yesterday, after trying and failing with yet another recipe I came across, I decided to create my own recipe.  As you can see from the picture, the cupcakes rose beautifully, with no cratering or gummy middles.


Eggnog cupcakes, with eggnog buttercream frosting, and just a little nutmeg sprinkled on top. How can you resist that?

So, here’s the recipe:

Eggnog Cupcakes

1 stick salted butter*, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup eggnog
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (you may omit the cinnamon and nutmeg if you wish to do so)

Preheat oven to 350* Line 12 hole pan with cupcake liners

Sift flour, baking powder, and baking soda together in a bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. Beat in the eggnog. Add the flour mixture, and beat until it’s all incorporated.

Fill the liners 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes (until tester comes out clean) at 350*F.

Allow to cool completely, and frost with eggnog frosting, lightly dust with nutmeg or cinnamon.

Eggnog  Frosting**:

1 stick salted butter, room temperature
1.5 cups powder sugar
5 Tablespoons eggnog
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or cinnamon (to dust frosting with)

Beat butter for 5 to 7 minutes (until it becomes extremely pale, almost white).  Once it’s beaten, add the powder sugar gradually (in at least 3 installments). Beat until it’s all incorporated, and then add the egg nog.  Beat until light and fluffy, then frost the cupcakes with them.  After frosting the cupcakes, lightly sprinkle either nutmeg or cinnamon (or be wild and use both!) on top of the frosting.

*Please use butter and not margarine.  The butter gives a much better crumb, and makes the cake taste richer, and just satisfies better. Also, since I never use margarine on or in anything, I can’t guarantee how the cupcakes will turn out if you don’t use butter.

**This recipe will JUST cover the cupcakes above, if you use a pastry bag and large tip to frost the cupcakes with.  If you wish for more frosting, or you are making a double batch, just increase the ingredients to 2 sticks butter, 3 cups power sugar, and 8-10 tablespoons eggnog (checking taste at 8 tablespoons to see if it has enough eggnog flavor).