Leah Behr: Garlicky Kale w/ White Bean Stew & No Knead Bread

Garlicky Kale w/ White Bean Stew & No Knead Bread

Last week I was at a friend's for dinner and they made the most wonderful bread! When they told me how easy it was, I knew I'd have to give it a try. I went to browsing through her blog in search of this "no knead bread" and after reading through the recipe, it really did seem simple enough. I had never made bread before, so there was A LOT of hesitation on my part! 

Over the weekend, I also came across a soup recipe on one of my new found favorite blogs, Freutcake. It's a fun little blog, with something for everyone and I am just smitten with its cuteness! -The blogger's name is Leah too, so...I'm just a little bit partial... ;)

The soup recipe sounded divine. Earthy & well balanced. Nothing is better together than a warm cup of soup with a fresh loaf of bread, so I decided it was time to also give this whole bread thing a try. 

I have to say, it was really fun making bread! Just the idea that I was trying something new (that I had honestly never even considered doing until now.)

I was a little worried, because I had NO IDEA what I was doing and the verbiage all seemed pretty foreign to me, but...it ended turning out WONDERFULLY! It was honestly a tad crusty for my liking, but I think I just over floured my surface (and my towels) and also lost track of time baking cookies (which I will post later) but I will definitely be making this again in the future! The boys couldn't get enough of it.
Overall...Success! Bon Appetit'

Garlicky Kale & White Bean Stew - adapted
(Found here & here, original recipe here)

Photo Cred: here

Knob of coconut oil

1 medium onion chopped

2 tsp minced garlic
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional, but really delicious)
5 bay leaves
Pinch chili flakes
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
2 cans white beans (drained & rinsed) ie. lima, butter, navy, cannelini - I used Butter & Cannelini
2 cups packed shredded kale leaves

4 cups vegetable broth
1 can (14 oz.) organic whole tomatoes

1. Heat a knob of oil in a large stockpot. Chop onions and add to the pot with a couple pinches sea salt, chili, bay leaves and paprika. Cook for a few minutes until the onions have softened, then add garlic. If the post becomes dry, add a little juice from the tinned tomatoes.
2. Add all other ingredients, bring to a boil, season to taste, and serve with a drizzle of olive oil (since everything is cooked, you don’t need to heat it long). If you are going to let it simmer for a while, add the kale about 5-10 minutes before serving so that it retains more of its nutritional value.

No Knead Bread  
(Found here & here)

Photo Cred: here

1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting. You may use white, whole wheat or a combination of the two.
1 1/2 tsp salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran for dusting
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the flour and salt, stirring until blended. The dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at least 8 hours, preferably 12 to 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
  2. The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. Sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
  3. Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface or to your fingers, gently shape it into a ball. Generously coat a clean dish towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal. Put the seam side of the dough down on the towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another towel and let rise for about 1 to 2 hours. When it’s ready, the dough will have doubled in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
  4. At least 20 minutes before the dough is ready, heat oven to 475 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven and lift off the lid. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. The dough will lose its shape a bit in the process, but that’s OK. Give the pan a firm shake or two to help distribute the dough evenly, but don’t worry if it’s not perfect; it will straighten out as it bakes.
  5. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and let it cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.

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