fool-proof no-knead bread

Fall is a crazy wild ride.  There are a million-and-one things to do and  I used to wish that I could do all million-and-one things at once (or at least a nice hand-full of them).   I used to think that doing just one thing at any given moment was a luxury — sometimes, even wasteful!  I would catch up with friends via text on my walk home from school.  I would study my Chinese vocabulary while doing my nails.  I once attempted to study for a physics test while making gooey Nutella butter cake (as you can imagine, that was a gooey, chocolatey mess).

Then I finally realized, after all of these years of trying to paint my toes, while listening to a book talk, while doing my math homework — that multi-tasking sucks.   Here are my five reasons that multi-tasking sucks.

  1. It’s actually less efficient.  If I have my history reading open on one tab and my Pinterest tab open on the other, most likely I will find a killer pumpkin bread recipe and leave poor old Thomas Jefferson neglected. 
  2. Things happen and I don’t notice them.  While I’m attempting to text my friends about my day while crossing the street, I don’t notice that adorable little pug puppy being walked on the other side of thestreet from me (not to mention oncoming traffic…).  A study at the University of Washington found that 75% of students who walked across the quad while on their cell phones didn’t notice a clown riding on a unicycle in the quad.   A CLOWN RIDING ON A UNICYCLE! He was probably wearing a bright red fright wig… if they didn’t notice that, think about all of the other things they were missing . 
  3. It’s rude.  Having my cell phone on the table while having lunch with a friend is distracting. I am totally guilty of this, but sometimes, I at least try not to read the message until I’m on my own.  
  4. It’s stressful.  That little “bing” of a new message sends my heart racing.  Spilling sea foam green nail polish on my Chinese workbook sends my blood-pressure through the roof.   
  5. It kills creativity.  Brilliant strokes of genius (putting Nutella in baklava) only happen when your brain has a little extra room to be crazy.  Multitasking requires a lot of “working memory,” leaving very little wiggle room for those awesome strokes of genius.  
So, I’ve decided that when I’m reading about Thomas Jefferson, I will give him all of my attention, and when I’m painting my nails sea foam green, you better believe I’m not going to screw one up attempting to crack open my math text book.   When I’m working, I’m working, when I’m playing, I’m playing, and when I’m baking, I’m baking.  Work hard, play hard (wise words from Wiz Khalifa).  
That being said, there’s one little exception when multi-tasking is a good thing. 
This no-knead bread.  
Basically, I just stir up the ingredients in a big bowl — then proceed to paint my nails, make Nutella baklava, talk to some friends,  spend some quality time with Thomas Jefferson, and totally forget about my bowl of ingredients.  While I’m doing all of these things,  the yeast in there is working hard to make the bubbliest, chewiest, dough I’ve ever seen.  Multi-tasking at its finest. 
Then, as an afterthought, I throw it into my big dutch oven and uncover a perfectly crusty, yeasty loaf of artisan bread.  

This is not the kind of bread that I cut into slices and make elaborate sandwiches on (although you totally could, whatever floats your boat).  This is the kind of bread that I tear off big chunks of while it’s still warm, and smother them in melty butter and honey.   It’s got that thick crust that snaps when you break off a piece and a soft center with tons of scraggly nooks and crannys just begging to be filled with melty butter. 


Are you a multi-tasker?

With love,
Erica

Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups luke-warm water
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2-1 tsp yeast

Dump all of the ingredients in a large bowl and give them a stir until they resemble a shaggy dough.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in room temperature for 8-18 hours. Dough will bubble up and rise.
After dough is ready, preheat oven to 450 F.

Put your dutch oven in the oven while it preheats.
Turn
the dough onto a well-floured surface and shape dough into a ball.
After
the oven has preheated, carefully remove the dutch oven and with floured
hands place the bread dough into it.
Replace
the cover and bake for 30 minutes covered. Then remove the cover and
bake for an additional 15 minutes uncovered.  Now you have a perfect, crusty, artisan loaf of bread!

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

mardi gras recipe roundup

Mardi Gras is international pancake day!  Unfortunately, unlike on World Nutella Day, I wasn’t able to bake up a batch of pancakes on this exact day (there are math tests to be studied for and much needed showers to be taken).  
But not to worry, I came up with this quick little round-up of all of the pancake recipes here on Cannella Vita.  Breakfast for dinner anyone? 😉
With love, 
Erica

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

best of 2012

2012 was a huge culinary milestone for me. The end of this year has me feeling quite nostalgic — I finished freshman year, I started track and field, I successfully whipped my first meringue.  This year will always be remembered, as Cannella Vita was founded in 2012, and since has become such a precious part of my life.  Although I know I will have a blast doing new, crazy things with my Kitchen Aid in 2013, I want to take a moment and remember all of the sweet kitchen victories I had this year.  I am going to share with you the seven most popular posts of 2012, as well as the seven most delicious and underrated posts of the year (that should really get some attention in 2013!). 

With love,
Erica

The Seven Most Popular Posts of 2012
 
The Seven Most Deliciously Underrated Recipes of 2012
Peach Cobbler Ice Cream
This was the first time I made my own ice cream (quite sentimental).  Full of farmer’s market peaches and crushed graham crackers, I couldn’t keep my hands off of this!
I will never forget the victory dance I did when I doused a batch of this fresh out of the oven with ice cold milk.  Coconut oil is a gift from the gods.

This may have been the best cake I have ever eaten. Ever.

My loyal readers will know that banana bread has a very special place in my heart — this cinnamon crumble loaf is one of the best I’ve ever tasted.

I’ve tried many brownie recipes, and this super fudge-y version is the best I’ve ever tasted.
These cookies are perfection — especially when sandwiched with coconut mascarpone.

Sweet Potato Casserole
This casserole stole the show at Thanksgiving this year!