Things I Read This Week: May 12, 2017

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How was your week (and weekend)? I had big plans to enjoy the sunshine yesterday, but instead I ended up binge-watching Master of None season 2 and I have no regrets. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Apartment Therapy – A Travel Editor’s Soothing San Francisco Sanctuary
We bought a grey sofa last week and now I’m thinking that the logical next step is to replicate the living room pictured above piece-for-piece. I especially love that rug!

GQ – Dwayne Johnson for President!
Is there a reality series about Dwayne Johnson in the works yet, or is he too busy making what seems like seventy movies a year? Because I would watch that very, very much.

The New Yorker – I Work From Home
Oh, it’s just too real.

Flare – “Even When I Was Only Eating Three Apples a Day, I Knew I Was Too Big”
This interview with Victoire Dauxerre (former model and the author of Size Zero: My Life as a Disappearing Model) is a worthwhile look at the toxic ideals of beauty prevalent in the world of high fashion. France has introduced laws that ban fashion houses from using “excessively thin” models and require ads and magazines to add a “photographie retouchée” (retouched photograph) label any Photoshopped image, but it’s going to take a long time for the culture of modelling to change in a significant way.

Bon Appetit – Ina Garten Microwaves Her Oatmeal; Continues to Remain Perfect Anyway
“After breakfast, I always go for a walk on the beach from 8 to 9. It’s a great way to start the day.” Preach, Ina. This sounds like a really good way to become a morning person.

Things I Read This Week: May 5, 2017

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How was your week? Happy Cinco de Mayo! Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Bon Appetit – The 5 Best New Sandwiches in America
I NEED this lox sandwich (above) from Philly Style Bagels. Anyone up for a road trip to Philadelphia?

GQ – Brad Pitt Talks Divorce, Quitting Drinking, and Becoming a Better Man
“The terrible thing is I tend to run things into the ground. That’s why I’ve got to make something so calamitous. I’ve got to run it off a cliff.” Wow, this is … so much.

Extra Crispy – What Happens When You Drink Too Much Coffee
Spoiler alert: it’s not pretty.

The Atlantic – The Fear of Feelings at Work
This is so interesting: “Negative emotions can help us in the workplace to be more effective thinkers, to dig into the facts of what may go wrong. To mandate that we should just be positive at work takes away from the idea that emotions have evolved to help us adapt.”

Food & Wine – Ultimate Cinco de Mayo Guide
Celebrate Mexican culture with recipes for all the drinks, cakes, and (of course) tacos you could ever hope for.

No-Knead Bread for Beginners

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It’s Mental Health Week! Seeing as baking is proven to be good for your mental health, I wanted to celebrate by sharing one of my favourite baking recipes: No-Knead Bread.

Like most novice bakers, I thought making bread would be too difficult to master. The stakes seemed much higher than they did for cookies or quick breads. I was afraid of failing after dedicating so much time to making a loaf of bread, so I avoided it. But as my baking skills improved over the years, I wanted to try something more challenging. Enter no-knead bread.

The recipe I’ve shared below is a mash-up of other recipes, namely Mark Bittman’s recipe from the New York Times, Mark Bittman’s recipe from How to Bake Everything (which has different proportions), and The Kitchn’s no-knead bread recipe. My first few loaves had problems (too gummy, too bland, unsatisfactory crust), so in an obsessive quest to resolve these issues, I turned bread into a science experiment.

This is my recipe for no-knead bread. I have baked this bread repeatedly and adjusted the recipe to suit my idea of what a perfect loaf looks and tastes like. That’s the cool thing about bread: it’s part science experiment, part magic. The slightest adjustments can yield different results. It’s all good, though; in the end, you have bread.

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You can make delicious bread, too. No-knead bread isn’t difficult, and you don’t need any fancy equipment, but it does take time; this recipe will take 22-24 hours from start to finish. Most of that time is hands-off, obviously, but if you’re baking bread for a specific occasion, be sure to start your dough early enough to avoid disappointment! If you put a batch of dough together before you go to bed tonight, you can have this bread for dinner tomorrow.

And finally, remember to trust and believe. This yields a very wet, slack dough that may look different from what you may have seen elsewhere. As long as your yeast is working (you’ll be able to see and smell it), then you’re on the right track. Don’t give up!

Continue reading “No-Knead Bread for Beginners”