time well spent

Monday, January 12, 2009

Have you tried any of the Martha Stewart Collection available at Macy's?  Well, it just so happens that she has a cast iron pot perfect for making winter meals.  Perfect for making bread.  And the perfect thing to use your gift card on from a Christmas gift.  

I have seen a lot of bread floating around out there.  Sarah made some.  Erin made some.  And Molly made one that I have been wanting to try.  Molly even did it without a cast iron pot.  
Since I have never tried this before, and really wanted it to turn out, I followed the directions to a T.  And I treated it like a baby.  Seriously.
I slept with it next to our bed.  Because the directions say to let it rise in a 70˚ room.  Well, our downstairs is colder than that. (Much colder.) And since heat rises, I decided to bring it upstairs, with specific instructions to the kids not to jump on the dough.
The dough has to sit for 12-18 hours. After that amount of time, you punch it down, form it into a ball, and it looks like that.  Up there. (That whole timing thing always gets me.  But, starting it at 4:00 on a Saturday afternoon, seemed to be great.  I didn't touch it again until noon the next day. 20 hours?  Oh, I know, but things happen and that was the earliest I could get back to it. It was ready for dinner on Sunday night. Seems like a long time to wait for a loaf of bread, huh?  Really, you do little while waiting.  I promise.)
I resisted the urge to swaddle, and just folded the towel back over the top.  And let it sit for 2 hours.  
Popped it into the pot and then into the oven. When I removed the lid it looked like that.  Just like the recipe said it would.  You should try it.  You won't be sorry.  Just sorry you didn't have more.

Oh, and Leya is hosting color week.  Today's color is/was blue.  So grab your camera and try to find a little color in your week.  Tomorrow, purple.

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64 comments

  1. Anonymous1/12/2009

    Oh, this bread is simply fabulous! The different varieties are equally delicious - I have tried the cranberry pecan and rye bread varieties and suggest you do, too!

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  2. Oh, this looks interesting! I just started baking bread, and I'm excited about all of the recipes out there :) Hmmm, I also got a Macy's gift card for Christmas!

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  3. Your bread looks delicious! I've got to try this in my cast iron pot. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. How funny! I just made this bread this weekend also. But I didn't baby mine AT ALL (well, I tried putting it in a "warmer" room, but our entire house is way too cold) and I just wanted to let you know that it turns out great even if your dough is a soggy mess. It really is a hardy recipe!

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  5. wow it look SO good and here i have a hard time waiting for a double riser to bake. but of how i love a good crunchy crust. must try it. AND that pot. perfect blue.

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  6. i never thought of using a cast iron pot before--that looks so good--thanks for sharing!

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  7. wow - looks so good I can almost smell it! Love your blue photo too... what a great idea x

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  8. That looks so delicious, but sounds so labor intensive! It's an interesting way to make bread.

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  9. Wonderful! Is wondeful your pot!! and I love that color!
    It is a nice and funny idea the one you suggest: I think this week my color is green... In Italy green is the color of "hope"

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  11. Oh, this bread really made me hungry!! Looks delicious!!

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  12. wasn't it fun? and easy.
    i will make it again and again!

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  13. Well, we did get a couple of gift certificates and I've been dying to make an easy bread that wasn't just the yummy beer bread I learned about from Turkey Cookies, feeling as though I should really stretch to rise, if not knead. :) If all it takes is a cast iron pot, well, I'm there! The 70 degree thing could be a problem, at least right now, this January, even upstairs. But, it's so worth a try!

    Thanks for the recipe and can't wait to see what you do for purple today!

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  14. I love that your determination to make the bread caused you to bring it upstairs with you :) It looks delicious and that photo of the pot is great. I am not sure that anywhere in my (very)old house would be 70* right now!

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  15. 70 degrees! Never ever in our house in winter. I'd have to take it to the playroom on the third floor and lock the door so the cat couldn't get it!

    Yummy, huh? Now you are going to want the artisan bread in 5 minutes a day cookbook. It's crazy easy without as many timing issues.

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  16. Wow you bread looks and must taste amazing. I love the taste of freshly baked bread, I must try this receipe.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Mary

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  17. I made some of that bread too - yummy! Finding a 70 degree spot in our house - I think the only spot would be under my electric blanket at night! :) Love the pot. I didn't know they were at Macy's - it's going on my birthday list!

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  18. Yay!! That is such a beautiful loaf (and a beautiful blue!) I haven't tried it the dutch oven way, but my husband and I have been using the artisan bread in 5 min/day for about a month now and we love it. Having fresh bread at home has been such a treat!

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  19. Oh, I love bread, so does my wasitline! I will have to give this one a try.

    Plus you got your blue photo of the day! I'm now working with a Nikon D60 and TRYING to take photos. I can only hope that they start to look as good as yours.

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  20. I have to try this bread! After my Amish loaf......I miss my D90~!

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  21. Okay, now I want that pot in red! That bread looks delish!

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  22. My problem is that when I want bread, I want it NOW. Tomorrow, after all, is when a diet should be starting. But yours looks really, really good. I love Martha. I miss her online store, with all the fun crafty crap that I JUST HAD TO HAVE THIS INSTANT... and never seemed to be able to make look like her stuff. But I still miss it.

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  23. Oh I am so happy for your success. I am gluten intolerant but thought I just might be able to get a decent loaf with this recipe. I tried it a few months ago and the loaf was heavier than the cast iron pot! Awful. The whole family still talks about it.

    Seeing loaves like yours makes me miss the gluten and that doesn't happen often for me. I'll have to enjoy it vicariously through you :-)

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  24. Thanks for the recipe! I bought my MS cast iron pot (cream) after New Year's, on sale. It's been used three times so far for soup - bread is next!

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  25. i've been wanting to try that bread. but i don't have the right pot. yours is GORGEOUS, by the way. i may have to go visit macy's. soon!

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  26. Oh Leslie. You just made a 20 hour wait and sleeping beside a ball of dough into something that must be attempted immediately. How do you do that? Must be your gorgeous pictures - I blame the pictures.

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  27. i have made that brad but i use my pot from ikea. it is an awesome loaf and an awesome bread, if i do say so. my poor oven is on the blink, so i cannot have the bread. unless i break into my neighbor's home and hijack their oven. i just might after seeing yours.

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  28. I can't believe you slept with it in your bedroom!! :) I started mine at nine this morning. I figure I will be up at 3AM baking a loaf of bread! Should've read the directions BEFORE I started.

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  29. I love this bread recipe! It turns out fabulous every single time! I'm a so-so cook and baker, but I feel so amazed and proud of myself every time I make a loaf of this bread. I too was worried about the temp in my house being too cold (64 degrees at night) for it to turn out, but no worries it works great! As a special treat for the kids during step 3, I"ll "fold" pepperoni slices and pizza cheese into the dough, let it rise for the hour or so directed then bake. I serve it with pizza sauce and the loaf disappears. Another thing I've added during step 3, is a little container of flavored feta cheese crumbles. Say it with me....YUM! Have fun with it.

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  30. very interesting..but it does seem like something I would become a slave too. At one point I tried the Amish friendship bread and had to give it up because it was becoming less and less enjoyable even though the bread was always amazing. I think the breadmachine is as homemade as I can get right now. I'll just enjoy your pictures. :)

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  31. Can I just say that I love your blog? Thanks!

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  32. House on Hill Road said it! Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day is the ONLY way to make bread...I literally have a fresh loaf daily and never wait more than 40 minutes per loaf!
    Give the book a try it's fabulous.

    And she's coming out with a new one this year with recipes for those with wheat allergies.

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  33. I'll have to give it a try, now that my oven is working again.

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  34. I keep thinking I'll try that recipe, too! Yours looks perfect. (And I love that turquoise pot!)

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  35. there is something in the air.
    i have bread on the brain.

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  36. That bread looks lovely.
    I say almost every week, I'm going to make bread, and i never do.

    As for Color week. I love this idea!
    I have started it myself. Good idea, thanks for referring Curious Bird

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  37. Thanks for the link. The current Eating Well magazine has an article about no knead breads written by someone who has a book out on the topic.

    I have a true cast iron dutch oven (think dark metal that can rust when not dried properly)that came from my great grandmother's home. It is used more than any other pot or pan that I own. They are truly handy.

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  38. Oh, I've been dying to make this bread! Yours looks fantastic. Did it make your bedroom smell nice?

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  39. Mmmm... that looks delicious. I've been meaning to try that recipe, too:)

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  40. I love this bread. I've made it a few times, but my favorites are Chocolate Sour Cherry and Cheddar Cheese No Knead Bread. I'm terrible at kneading, so it's perfect for me. I just need to figure out the best time to start, because of the dual rising times.

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  41. I love that bread technique! The crust turns out perfectly.

    I ogled the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's on Sunday while I was returning Christmas gifts. I love the color palette.

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  42. I'm making this bread this weekend. Everyone has said it is so yummy so I've got to get going (or, rather, baking!)

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  43. gorgeous blue and gorgeous bread

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  44. Yum! And I really love the color of the cast iron pan. Go martha.

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  45. Oh wow, this is so timely! I just got a beautiful new dutch oven for Christmas! I have such a weakness for crusty bread. yummm!

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  46. you know,I have this book...I just need to actually USE it! mmmmm looks great!

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  47. Your baby is so sweet, and so is that blue pot! My mom claims that I won't be able to life my Dutch Ovens when I'm her age:)

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  48. that looks yummy~! i may have to try this! i have never made bread, always wanted to try it though.

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  49. I got a Martha Stewart bundt pan for Christmas, and I can't wait to try it out! ..and your bread looks really delicious!!

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  50. oh it's kind-funny to sleep with a dough...it brought grin on my face, thanks for the morning dose of laughs.

    I want to get one of this pot, i love to stew-cook.

    We love bread too.

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  51. The color of the dutch oven is so pretty. I love it! And the bread looks yummy.

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  52. This post is so lovely - from the cast iron pan to the bread and the thoughts in between!

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  53. Thanks for sharing, it looks amazing. I can't wait to try that recipe!

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  54. Ooh, I've been looking for a dutch oven (or dutch oven lookalike) for a while now. And as I have only one pot in the house (and lots of baking gear in general) it would be a welcome addition...

    I even have a Macy's gift card!

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  55. Your bread turned out beautiful! (and so is that pot!!!)
    Is the Martha Stewart pot any cheaper than the Le Creuset line? Hmmm, off to investigate... I need really big pots, but cast iron gets heavy, so I might just need two pots... oh my...

    Back to the knitting!

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  56. oh yum.

    that same pot came to live with me this christmas, but in red. and a tea kettle in blue. i keep them together on the stovetop so they can chat.

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  57. Did you use the 5.5 quart or the 7 quart pot?? Just wondering because the 5.5 quart is on major sale, and the 7 quart isn't...

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  58. Anonymous1/28/2009

    Ok, I am at work reading thing and it looks amazing. I am a carb junkie...ridiculous. I will try this over the weekend end. I hope it turns out as good as your. Thanks of sharing

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  59. thanks for the post! i was inspired and purchased the pot last week... and made the bread last night. yummo!

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