No-Knead Bread: Your Experiences

No-Knead Bread

I am not a bread baker–I reserve my weights and measures for the sweet stuff. But last Saturday, The One and I spent the day with one of LC’s testers, Cindi Kruth, and her husband, Martin Goldberg. She made the New York Times‘ famous No-Knead Bread using her 23-year-old sourdough starter named Lex. (Why it’s called Lex, don’t ask me.) She was kind enough to give me some of the starter, which we re-named “Lexi, the Spawn.” Here’s my first attempt making the bread using no commercial yeast, just Lexi.

I was wondering what your experiences were with the No-Knead recipe? I feel it needs much more salt (about 2 tablespoons in total), but I was pleased with the rise and shape of Spawn Bread, and its crust was fantastic. I hope as Lexi gets older, it’ll develop more of a sourdough taste–still too adolescent for my taste.

Tying Up Loose Thanksgiving Ends

Trussed Turkey

I’m not a kitchen gadget guy. I’ve never been a kitchen gadget guy. But every birthday and Christmas I invariably receive astoundingly useless gifts. There was the bagel slicer; the vacuum sealer (I actually used that one for a while); the spoons that measure a smidge, hint, pinch, and drip; and the mechanical tea-bag squeezer. All are tag-sale fodder. I prefer to use a knife to cut my bagels, tightly wrap food with plastic, pinch my own spices, and squeeze my own tea bags, thank you very much. So it’s not surprising that I looked upon thefoodloop with utter skepticism. A ribbed silicon tie that takes the place of twine? But the notion of rolling, binding, or trussing food, such as a turkey, stuffed pork loin, or a boneless leg of lamb, with just a snap intrigued me. I tried one on a roast chicken (as a test for T-Day), and it held perfectly. They’re also heat resistant up to 675 degrees in the oven, microwave, or on the stovetop, which means I can even burn dinner, and it’ll still hold together beautifully. Best of all, the loops are reusable; just wash them in hot soapy water.

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Thickest Part of the Thigh, huh?

Meat Thermometer

Every year when it came to the interminable turkey-eating season—November to New Year’s Day—I stood there holding a meat thermometer, hands trembling, face twitching, wondering if this bird would be the one I actually cooked correctly. You see, it seemed no matter what I did, I missed the mark so spectacularly that, for a while, I left the protein-cooking part of the day in The One’s hands, and I took up the immensely less intimidating baking portion of the program. But not before one memorable Thanksgiving when I had to call our friend Matty, a former butcher, into the kitchen to salvage the bird, not to mention my flagging self-esteem. (To his great credit, Matty, a man who’ll use anyone’s misfortunes as grist for a few minutes of hilarious stand-up cocktail chatter, never breathed a word of it. Or, at least, never in my presence.) Read more »

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