I've been dreading writing about this but if I blog about it now, I won't have to dread it any longer, will I? Well, remember Nora telling us about her friends that live in Richland Center with the Icelandic Sheep? Remember how I drove over one Saturday, took the goat trail, visited with the sheep and picked up two fleeces? You do? Good.
One of those fleeces, the lovely chocolate brown fleece, is safely in a box traveling to Stacey under the tender mercies of the U.S. Postal Service. The other fleece was safe in my garage, waiting for me to wash it and proceed with all the other fun processes one does with a fleece. Did you notice the "was" in the previous sentence? You did? Very astute of you.
Sometimes we forget to tell our spouses things, important things. Things like, "don't touch that bag with my fleece in it, even though it is in a garbage bag, it isn't garbage." Yes, while I was learning about lace in Neenah last Saturday, Artemesia's fleece was (accidentally) taken to the township garbage drop-off and, well, dropped off. I didn't realize it was gone until yesterday when I had to move a ladder for the A/C guy to go up into the attic and noticed the bag that used to be next to the ladder, wasn't.
DH is very sorry and I'm feeling pretty bad on several levels. A waste of money and precious materials, the missing out of doing an activity with a friend, feeling dumb because I should have showed DH the fleece, and feeling a bit of "why didn't you look in the bag before you pitched it?" feeling. He even went to the drop-off but the bins were empty so it couldn't be recovered. (Not that I would have asked him to go dumpster diving...ewwwww!) He has amassed so many "husband points" that this little snafu is nothing. Besides, there is no lasting harm....there will be more fleeces and no body or animal was hurt. I just hope that Etta Mae's fleece has better luck.
The Slow-Rise (No Knead) Bread
The bread was well-received last night with a nice romaine salad and seafood stew (from Trader Joe's). I'm pretty pleased with it but the crust wasn't as crisp as I would have liked but I love the crumb and the taste was good. Look at all those cool holes! I *heart* holey-bread. I nabbed this recipe from the comments on Amazon.com from a book review. Yes, a little risky but all the recipes looked about the same. Here it is:
3 cups of bread flour, I used King Arthur's bread flour
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon yeast (I used a 1/2 t.)
1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 and 1/2 cups water, room temperature
I added the ingredients in the bowl (two quart size) water first, then yeast, flour, and salt. Stirred to mix the ingredients (no dry flour pockets) then covered and let the dough sit to double in size. Here is where I had a problem because my kitchen wasn't warm enough. I finally put the dough in a cold oven with the light on and there was enough warmth to encourage the dough to double. Once it doubled, I put it in the 'frig and it stayed there for about 18 hours or so. You could leave it for several days, I believe.
The next day, I took the dough out of the 'frig (it was a bit jiggly and had lots of bubbles) and set it on the counter to come to room temp, about 3 hours before I wanted to bake it. Your time may differ. It was a chilly spring day yesterday.
I placed my clay covered chicken cooker (from Pampered Chef, in case you, too, did the PC parties at one time or another), both pieces, in the cold oven. I turned the oven to 475 to preheat. Once everything was to the right temp, I took a sheet of parchment paper, removed the top of the clay cooker carefully, set the parchment over the bottom of the cooker and poured my dough onto the parchment. Then I replaced the lid of the cooker, closed the oven door, and reduced the oven temp to 450. After 30 minutes, I removed the cover and reduced the oven temp to 420 and let the bread brown and finished cooking....about 15 or 20 minutes. I removed it from the heat when the internal temp was just 200 using an instant read thermometer.
Next time, I'll wait for an internal temp of 210 to see if the extra time will improve the crust. This is a variation on the New York Times No Knead bread. I am not comfortable putting my le Crueset lid in the oven at such a high temperature so I just used the clay cooker as a cloche. Other folks have used a cast iron dutch oven and lid with success, as well.