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Remember No Knead Bread?

Remember when everywhere you turned, it was all you could read about? Since I’ve been blogging (December 2005), I can’t think of another food item that was so talked about and written about in both print and on-line.

Unfortunately for the Cream Puff, I had to sit and watch as the No Knead Bread craze passed me by. I felt like the kid in gym class that never gets picked for the team.

You see, even though I have a house full of baking pans and various other baking utensils, the one item I didn’t own during that memorable period of food history was a vessel with a lid that would be able to withstand the heat at which the bread needed to be baked.

It’s hard to believe, I know, but it’s true.

So while the rest of the world No-Kneaded, I just sat idly by. I salivated as I read post after post about the success of this incredible bread. And I wondered when, if ever, I’d get to share in the joy of eating that crusty bread.

Well I must have been a very good girl in 2006 because Santa gave me a gift certificate for one of my favourite kitchen stores. Of course being the disorganized creature that I am, I prompty put the gift certificate away for “safekeeping” and naturally forgot about it.

A few weeks ago, as I frantically searched for one item through the piles of paper on my desk, I of course ended up coming across another item, my gift certificate. Noticing that it was about to expire, I made my way over to The Main Course, surely one of Toronto’s most beautiful stores. And there, I set my eyes on (and did not take my eyes off of) an Emile Henry covered pot that you can use both on the stovetop and in the oven.

And get this. It withstands high heats.

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Clutching my gift certificate, I walked right up to the first salesperson and pointed delightedly at the pot. Within half an hour, I was on my way home thinking of one thing and one thing only: No Knead Bread.

After getting home, I began searching for the recipe and once again I ended up finding something else in the process. I found a recipe for Chocolate-Cherry Pecan Bread, based on the No Knead Bread foundation, from the King Arthur Flour Web site. As you may have noticed, I’ve made the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion my Flavour of the Month as it’s one of my very favourite cookbooks. When I came across their version of the No Knead Bread studded with chocolate, dried cherries and pecans, I had to try it.

The fact that the loaf on the King Arthur site was baked in what appeared to be the very same pot that I had purchased was only confirmation to me that the baking gods wanted me to make this bread.

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Alas, I had no dried cherries, but I had plenty of chocolate and pecans and so I proceeded with the recipe. As so many people had experienced previously, it was a wonder to make and fascinating as well. I can hardly believe that I was able to get such a crackly, artisanal-like crust on a loaf of bread that I baked. Wow!

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The bread was delicious! It had a beautiful crumb and everyone in my family enjoyed slathering (and I mean SLATHERING) loads of butter on it. The only problem I encountered was that the bottom crust burnt ever so slightly. Not that it prevented us from eating it, mind you, but I may try baking the bread at a slightly lower heat next time to ward off an overly blackened bottom.

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Finally! I am a member of the No Knead Bread team and no longer sitting by myself in gym class!

Ciao!

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