NY Times No Knead Bread and Chef John's Potato and Ham soup - this made for an awesome winter meal, everything tastes better when made from scratch.
For the bread, I thought there was no way it was going to work because I was using "wet hands" instead of flour, as noted in the steamy kitchen blog, but that made the dough look like a goopy mess. When I reread the original recipe from NY times it said flour and that made the dough much less sticky and I was able to somewhat get it to be taut/smooth for the 2nd rise. Then I also learned on steamy kitchen the Le Creuset pot will work in 450 oven but that's not true, within the first few minutes I heard cracking and popping and it was the top and whatever glue was used to help keep the screw in ... so luckily I had a metal top that fits my Creuset... besides those two issues, and the fact that I had a late start preheating and thus baking the bread (so we were starving and desperate for it to be done after just 45 minutes baking), the bread came out awesome. Sure it could've gone 5 more minutes or cooled 10 minutes but we were slicing into it while it was super hot, and it was 99% done (I had checked with the thermometer and it was ~ 204 when I pulled it out). It was delicious and we all ate the whole loaf (Steamy kitchen said it didn't keep well... perhaps I should have tried it out for myself!). I will make this bread again very soon, no doubt about that... if anything to use up the instant yeast and bread flour I now have.
So, if you're making this bread in a le Creuset pot - maybe you need all-in-one piece metal top - nothing with a screw holding a knob on or anything like that.
The soup was absolutely delicious. I used probably double the veggies and meat but kept the liquids the same (and even cut out 1 cup water) because I read it was watery - well my method made it not watery at all, it was thick and delicious after I followed the rest of Chef John's directions. So good. We had some green onions and I sprinkled some cheese and it was kind of like a loaded baked potato soup.. excellent. Made enough for 2 hearty servings and 2 hearty lunches for the next day.
What a great meal!
Click here for the NYTimes.com No Knead Bread recipe and method.
Click here for the Chef John Potato and Ham soup on Allrecipes.com. Maybe not the most beautiful photo but it was delicious!