Saturday, December 15, 2012

Carrot Walnut Currant No-Knead Bread

This is one of my favorite recipes from Jim Lahey's book.  Fresh squeezed carrot juice (I buy organic carrot juice and use that but it would be even more awesomer to make your own!) is subtle and it combines with the currants and walnuts for a rich flavor that is unusual and so satisfying.  It is also crusted with cumin seeds which adds another something something. LOVE IT. 

Here's what ya need:

3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed carrot juice
3/4 cup currants
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
additional flour for dusting
1 T. cumin seeds

Here's what you do (so simple!). Combine flour, salt and dry yeast, then add carrot juice...

Mix that together with a wooden spoon or your fingers

Add nuts and currants.  Mix that in.

Let dough sit in a warm, draft-free spot (to the extent you have one in winter!) and loosely cover it with plastic wrap or a dish towel, for 12 to 18 (ideally 18) hours until the surface is dotted with bubbles and it has more than doubled in size, like so:

Turn it out onto a generously floured work surface, using a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to get it out in one piece.  Using lightly floured hands, or a bowl scraper, lift the edges of the dough in toward the center.  Nude and tuck in the edges of the dough to make it round, like so:

Place a kitchen towel or tea towel on your work surface, generously (really generously!!) dust it with flour and sprinkle on the cumin seeds.  Gently place the dough on the towel, seam side down (so it is being coated in cumin seeds).  Dust top with flour and loosely fold ends of towel over the dough to cov er it and place it in a warm draft free spot to rise for another 1 to 2 hours.

Half an hour before the end of the second rise, put a covered 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 quart heavy pot or dutch oven on the center rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Using pot holders, carefully remove preheated pot from the oven and uncover it. Unfold the tea towel and quickly but gently invert the dough into the pot, seam side up.  Cover pot and bake for 25 minutes.  Remove lid and bake until bread is a deep chestnut color but not burnt, 15 to 20 minutes more.  Use a heatproof spatula or pot holders to carefully lift the bread out of the pot and place it onto a rack to cool completely. 

 Slice and enjoy!

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