The mission: find as many different recipes as possible that all call for basic baking ingredients: flour, yeast, baking powder. Baking Basics is a fun cooking challenge I’ve been on since moving to Russia and today’s installment features two favorites of gluten lovers everywhere: artisan bread and homemade biscuits.

Luke and I have been making our own bread since we got married 2.5 years ago. However, we usually employed a bread machine so we could come home to the delicious wafts of freshly cooked bread meeting us at the door.  Without our plethora of appliances, I went back to making bread the old-fashioned way–in the oven.  Here’s how to make artisan dutch oven bread without a dutch oven:

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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon active yeast
  • 1¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine flour, yeast, salt, water in a bowl. Stir until combined. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let dough sit on the counter overnight, or for at least 12 hours.
  2. When ready to make the bread, place an enamel oven-proof stock pot in the oven at 180 degrees Celcius while the oven preheats, around 30 minutes. While  the pot is heating up, transfer dough to a floured surface, it will be bubbly and sticky. Add a little flour and gently fold and tuck it into a round ball (it will still be a pretty loose dough). Using oven mitts, carefully take the hot pot out of the oven, add just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pot (olive, sunflower, vegetable whatever) and drop the ball of dough into the hot pot. Cover with the lid and place back into the oven to bake for 25 minutes..
  3. After 25 minutes, rotate the pot, remove lid and let it bake another 15 minutes or until brown.

NOTES

Recipe adapted from http://www.nutritiouseats.com/rosemary-dutch-oven-bread/

RESULTS

Wonderfully fluffy and flavorful bread that is perfect with lentil soups.

Another recipe recommended by a friend was the classic biscuit.  The only glitch with this recipe was it calls for buttermilk which very well might be available for purchase at my local grocery store, but I have no idea what buttermilk is in Russian.  Instead, I used my trusty trick: add 1 TBS white vinegar per cup of milk and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Voila!  Buttermilk biscuits without the buttermilk.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup milk + 1 TBS white vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
  2. Add 1 TBS white vinegar to 1 cup milk, let it sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Mix together the dry ingredients. With two knives, a pastry blender, or your fingertips, cut or rub the butter in  until the mixture looks like bread crumbs.
  4. Add the liquid all at once, mixing quickly and gently for about 20 seconds until you have a soft dough.
  5. Drop the dough by the spoonful onto a lightly floured baking sheet.
  6. Bake the biscuits for 15 to 20 minutes, until they’re lightly browned. Remove them from the oven, and serve warm.

NOTES

Recipe adapted from https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/baking-powder-biscuits-recipe

RESULTS

Fluffy, not too sweet, biscuits that warm up a Russian winter, especially when served hot with butter and honey.

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