Easy No-Knead Artisan Loaf


Guess what?

Dan and I welcomed a new addition to our home in the form of a tiny four-legged tail wagging monster! His name is Ollie and he’s a working English springer spaniel and behind those adorable floppy ears hides tiny little devil horns. A rambunctious little guy, Ollie is like any young puppy…take your eyes off him for even one second and he’s bound to be up to no good! Chewed shoes aside, it’s hard not to adore his cuddly spaniel face, plus Ollie sure is smart! Within 3 weeks he’s learned a handful of tricks, including a crowd favourite of playing dead at the cue of Bang!

Artisan Boule Bread Loaf

Now that I’m a new Puppy Mama, I’ve realized how much work a pup can be.  I’ve only had family dogs growing up and my mom did all the grunt work of raising our little ankle biters. I was determined to crate train little Ollie the moment we knew we were getting him, dreaming of a perfectly behaved pooch. But alas, the crate training is coming along rather slow…he much rather be my little shadow in the kitchen, flopping down next to my feet wherever I go. Which can make my usual cooking prep a little annoying… or absolutely adorable!

Easy No-Knead Artisan Loaf
Easy No-Knead Artisan Loaf

Usually every week I’ll bake at least one type of bread (which I sometimes shamefully gorge on when alone). And since all my attention in the next few weeks will be making sure Ollie doesn’t get himself into trouble I wanted to bake something easy.  One of the simplest methods I have come across is from Ken Forkish’s Flour Water Yeast Salt. His Saturday Bread requires no kneading and only the four ingredients that the book is named after. The recipe does take some planning (about 6 hours from start to oven), but it doesn’t need much work, just the initial mixing, a few folds a proof, and voila! a crusty boule! So in between chasing after the little rascal, and putting in a few folds of this dough, I was still able to produce my weekly loaf…that I’ll now shamefully gorge on!

Easy No-Knead Artisan Loaf

Easy No-Knead Artisan Loaf
Easy No-Knead Artisan Loaf

note:  It’s best to work with a kitchen scale, but I’ve provided approximate cup measurements for those without.

Saturday 50% Whole Wheat Boule
Adapted from Flour Water Yeast Salt
Makes 1 1/2 pound loaf

250g white flour (2 cups)
250 g whole wheat flour (2 cups)
760 g water (3 ¼ cups)
10 g sea salt (2 teaspoons)
1/2 tsp yeast

In a large tub, mix the flour and water with your hands until the water and flour are incorporated. Cover and let it rest for 20 minutes to let the flour absorb the water.

Sprinkle the salt and yeast over the top of the dough and mix with your wet hands by alternatively stretching it and pinching it to fully incorporate the yeast and salt. This should take about five minutes. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Fold the dough by picking up each side and stretching it, and folding it over the middle like a little package. Re-cover. Fold the dough again after 30 minutes and repeat. When the dough is triple its original volume, about 5 hours after mixing, it’s ready to be proofed.

Heavily flour a proofing basket. You can also use a mixing bowl lined with a lint free kitchen linen that has been heavily floured. Carefully shape the dough into a boule (ball), tucking the sides around tightly. Place the shape loaf seam side down in the proofing basket.

Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 1 hour 15 min, or until the loaves are puffy (it’s about an hour for me in Bermuda). Here is a great tip on checking dough doneness by Ken Forkish that I came across on Karen’s Kitchen.

About 45 minutes prior to baking, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F and place a covered Dutch oven on the middle rack. Make sure your Dutch oven has a knob that is oven safe.

Invert the loaf carefully onto a lightly floured countertop, keeping in mind that the top of the loaf will be the side that was facing down. Being cautious not to let any body parts touch the side of the Dutch oven, use oven mitts to remove from the oven and remove the lid. Carefully place the loaf in the hot Dutch oven and replace the lid. Place the Dutch oven in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 20 minutes until medium dark brown. Check after 15 minutes in case your oven is hotter than normal.

Remove the Dutch oven and carefully tilt it to turn the loaf out. Let cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before slicing.

Fried Fish Gua Bao “Sandwich”

Fried Fish Gua Bao
Fried Fish Gua Bao

If there is one thing you have to try while visiting Bermuda, it would definitely be a fish sandwich. Who would ever say no to crispy battered fish, sandwiched between a toasted loaf, dressed with crunchy slaw and creamy tarter? Whenever Dan and I have friends visiting, one of the must-do’s on the list for our guests is to take them to Art Mel’s Spicy Dicy for their famous fish sandwich. Piled high with crispy battered fish as tall as a fist, Art Mel’s sandwich really is a sight to see. Even my brother and his fiancée loved it so much they went twice in the week they were visiting.

Fried Fish Gua Bao

Bermudafoodie.com is currently holding an Island wide contest with local restaurants in search of the best fish sandwich. 40 restaurants are participating and if your belt can stay notched in, you have until August 14th to try each one. Needless to say, Bermuda loves their fish sandwiches.

Fried Fish Gua Bao

In honour of Bermudafood.com’s contest, I decided to create my own version of a fish sandwich. I knew that I wanted to incorporate some of my Asian heritage into this endeavour and at first I wasn’t sure how I was going to go about it. I didn’t think slapping some Asian condiments on top of fish warranted enough creativity, so I started to think about the carb portion of the meal and a light bulb went off in my head. Ah ha! I can wrap the crispy deep fried fish in a Chinese mantou bun!

Slightly sweet and steamed to softness, I grew up on this dough in the form of barbecue pork buns where the filling is actually enclosed. Bao, in Chinese, literally means ‘to wrap’. So instead for this recipe, I was inspired by the Gau Bao, a Taiwanese street food item that has been in the limelight in the last few years due to trendy eateries such as Momofuku and Baohaus. With raisins kneaded into the dough, the bun has that same hint of sweetness that makes Bermuda’s Fish sandwiches one of a kind. Add tempura styled fried fish, zesty citrus slaw and spicy tarter and you have my spin on a fish sandwich. Part Bermuda and part Chinese, this is the Fried Fish Gua Bao!

Fried Fish Gua BaoFried Fish Gua Bao

Makes 8 small sandwiches
Raisin Mantou Bao 
Adapted from A Table for Two

300 g bread Flour (2 1/3 cups)
2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
2 tablespoons milk powder (optional)
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup water at room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup raisins

Add the yeast to water and let it activate for 5 minutes until frothy. Add the rest of the dry ingredients in a bowl of stand mixer with a dough hook and pour in the yeast water. Mix on low speed for 5-8 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Grease the sides of a bowl and place the dough inside and cover with a towel. Let the dough rest for about 1 – 1 1/2 hour until doubled in size.

Punch the dough down and transfer to a lightly floured surface and roll the dough into a large rectangle. Shape the dough into large tight log. Using a knife, cut the log into 8 equal pieces about 70 grams each. Flatten and roll each piece until smooth and place onto a tray lined with parchment paper and let rest covered for another 30 minutes.

While resting, cut out 16 small squares of parchment paper.

Take each dough and with a rolling pin, roll into a long oval shape about 6″x 4”. Fold over the dough in half lengthwise and place a piece of parchment paper on the inside to prevent sticking. Place the bun on a second square of paper. Repeat with all 8 pieces and cover with a towel and let it proof for another 30 minutes.

Set up a steamer over simmering water on medium heat. Place the buns in the steamer with at least 1 1/2” space in between. Steam for 10 minutes in batches.

*Buns freeze well and just need to reheated in the microwave for serving.
Asian Slaw
1 medium carrot
half of a small white cabbage
half of a small purple cabbage
1 green onion
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Lemon juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Shred carrot and cabbages with a mandolin or slice thin with a knife. Slice green onion. Mix together and sprinkle in vinegar, lemon juice and sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sriracha Tarter
1 teaspoon Sriracha (or more to taste)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sweet pickle relish

Combine all ingredients for sauce and set aside.

Tempura Fried Fish
1 pound white fish sliced in small 2oz portions (wahoo, cod, tilapia, mahimahi) * always locally caught when available
squeeze of lemon juice
salt & pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 1/4 cup of cold seltzer water
oil for frying
cilantro leaves for garnish

Marinate fish with a squeeze of lemon juice, salt & pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Set aside for 20 minutes while you prepare the batter.

Mix together flour, corn starch, pinch of salt, pinch of cayenne, and seltzer water. Whisk to combine.

Drain the fish pieces and pat dry with a paper towel.

Line a plate with paper towels and in a large heavy pot or cast iron pan heat about 1/2 inch of oil medium heat until 360c.

Dredge the fish pieces in the batter and carefully drop into the hot oil, careful not to crowd the fish by cooking in several batches. Monitor the temperature of the oil throughout the fry, keeping it at least 360. Fry until crisp, light and golden brown about 3 minutes each side. Remove and place on lined plates.

To assemble, remove paper from the bun and peel it open. Slater a good amount of tarter sauce on the inside of each steamed bun. Layer the slaw and hot fried fish and garnish with a handful of cilantro.

Sweet Onion Focaccia with Rosemary

Sweet Onion Focaccia with Rosemary

Sweet Onion Focaccia with Rosemary

When I was surviving the drag of long distance love, before my inevitable move, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Bermuda on several occasions. I remember first attending one of Dan’s soccer games and by the end of my first match I was subsequently dubbed a WAG (Wives and Girlfriends). Although admittedly to this day, I still don’t fully understand the rules of soccer! The team that Dan plays for is the Flanagan Onions, made up of a great group of guys from all over the world as well as Bermuda. At first, I found it peculiar to have a sports team named after an onion of all things and when I inquired, Dan’s only response was that the Onion was a ‘thing’ in Bermuda.

Sweet Onion Focaccia with Rosemary

Sweet Bermuda Onions were originally imported in from the Canary Islands in the 18th century and were such a heavily exported item to the US, it monikered the Bermudian nickname “Onions”. A high water and low sulfur content make the onion not as pungent, which is great for any teary eyes. Satiny white, with a flat top, they are perfect for caramelization and what better use of them than to top it on something salty and carby.

Following Peter Reinhart’s: The Bread Baker’s Apprentice has been helpful in my journey of perfecting my bread practice. The chapter on focaccia offers 2 options, both require some pre-meditation with an overnight ferment; however, if you wish to have the loaf within a day you still can! I just love the process of a slow ferment to bring out the great flavour in bread. 

PS: A special thanks to my dear friend Melanie of Fiander Foto for gifting me this beautiful Bermuda onion from her In-law’s garden.

Sweet Onion Focaccia with Rosemary

Sweet Onion Focaccia with Rosemary
recipe adapted from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

5 cups bread flour (22.5 ounces)
2 teaspoons salt (.5 ounce)
2 teaspoons instant yeast
6 tablespoons olive oil (.22 ounces)
2 cups water, at room temperature (16 ounces)
½ cup Rosemary Oil
Extra olive oil for the pan
Caramelized Sweet Onions

Combine the flour, salt and yeast in a large mixer bowl. Add the olive oil and water and stir with a spoon or paddle attachment for a few minutes until a cohesive dough forms. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium for 5-7 minutes until a smooth tacky dough is formed. Additional flour may be added to achieve a dough that will clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom.

Sprinkle a 6-inch square flour bed on the counter and using a scraper transfer the dough and pat into a rectangle shape dusting liberally with flour. Let the dough relax for 5 minutes.

Coat your hands with flour and stretch the dough on each end until double the size. Fold it, letter style, over itself to return to a rectangular shape. Mist the top with spray oil, sprinkle with flour and cover loosely with plastic wrap to let rest for 30 minutes.

Stretch and fold the dough again and let rest for another 30 minutes. Repeat once more after the rest. Allow the covered dough to sit on the counter for 1 hour until swollen or nearly double the size

Line a 17 x 12 inch sheet pan with parchment paper and drizzle a good amount of olive oil and spread it evenly over the surface. Using oiled hands or a scraper, carefully transfer the dough to the pan maintaining the rectangle shape

Spoon half of the Rosemary oil over the dough and using your fingertips, gently dimple the dough and spread it around until it fills the pan. Be careful not to tear or rip the dough and keep the thickness as even as possible. If the dough springs back, let it rest for around 15 minutes and continue dimpling. Use more Rosemary oil as needed

Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough overnight. The dough can keep for up to 3 days at this point. If you’d like to bake the same day, let the dough rest for another hour or until double the size and proceed to the baking stage.

On the day of baking, remove the pan from the fridge and drizzle additional oil and dimple allowing the dough to fill the pan completely. Add the Caramelized Sweet Onions and cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to sit in room temperature for about 3 hours or double in size to proof

Preheat the oven to 500°F

Place the pan in the middle of the oven and lower the temperature to 450°F and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway and continue to bake for 5-10 minutes or until a light golden brown. Remove focaccia when done onto a cooling rack and allow 20 minutes to rest before serving.

Caramelized Sweet Onions
1 large Sweet Onion (Spanish Onions work as well)
1 tablespoon butter or Extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white or red wine vinegar (optional)

Cut the onion into thin slices

Melt butter or oil in a skillet over medium heat and add onions with a pinch of salt.

Continue to cook the onions for 40 minutes, checking every 5-10 minutes adding water or vinegar to prevent burning

Rosemary Infused Oil
1 cup Extra virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh Rosemary
1 teaspoon sea sal

Warm olive oil to about 100° in a small sauce pan. Add chopped rosemary and salt. Allow the herbs to marinate in the oil while you prepare the focaccia. Leftover oil keeps in the fridge for about 2 weeks.

Overnight Ginger Cinnamon Rolls with Black Rum Glaze

Overnight Ginger Cinnamon Rolls with Black Rum Glaze

January of last year, I packed my trusted pistachio coloured KitchenAid mixer into a suitcase lined with sweaters that were probably not going to be put to much use anymore. There was no way I was leaving that workhorse behind. I was taking the leap of love, moving 3000 miles away from my family and friends in Vancouver to Bermuda where my boyfriend Dan lived. Probably not the worst of places to move to considering it’s sunny 99% of the time, but there are drawbacks of living on a tropical island…well…you live on a tiny tropical island! While I welcomed with open arms freshly caught Wahoo, beautiful humid sunny weather, and breathtaking turquoise waters…I couldn’t deny that I would miss Vancouver’s rich culinary diversity. However, trading in hunter boots for year-round flip-flops was too good of a deal to pass up.  

Overnight Ginger Cinnamon Rolls with Black Rum Glaze

Now here I am, assimilated a year and a half later with great new friends, a healthy tan, and a penchant for baking artisan breads. Much of my free time is now occupied with attempting to master my way through Peter Reinhart ’s books and because of that, I have unassumingly upgraded Dan’s office status by sending him off to work with trays of test run recipes. 

Which brings me to this blog…the first post to have been written months ago. But I dragged my feet and made up excuse after excuse. Starting something new can be so daunting, the fear of complete utter failure can haunt anyone’s mind. But just like taking the leap of love 17 months ago, I’m diving head first into the world of food blogging. And sometimes a little liquid courage can help. 

One of Bermuda’s more known exports is Goslings Black Rum, a rich dark liquor with notes of butterscotch, vanilla and caramel. Mostly used to mix its famous Dark N’ Stormy cocktails, I decided to add a little bit into the glaze of these rolls. The ginger is a subtle touch in the brioche dough and the Goslings gives it the extra little spice. 

So without further ado, here is my very first recipe post. Bottoms up!

Overnight Ginger Cinnamon Rolls with Black Rum GlazeOvernight Ginger Cinnamon Rolls with Black Rum GlazeOvernight Ginger Cinnamon Rolls with Black Rum Glaze

Makes 12 small or 8 Large rolls

For the Dough:
3/4 cup of milk (185 g)
2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast (or one package)
1/4 cup of softened butter (57 grams)
1/3 cup of sugar (67 grams)
1/2 tsp of salt
1 teaspoon ground Ginger
2 teaspoon peeled Grated fresh ginger
4 cups of flour (plus more for dusting) (512 grams)
2 large eggs 

3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon all purpose flour
pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons softened butter (85 grams) 

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 table spoons dark rum
3 table spoons butter melted
a pinch of sea salt 

Heat milk and grated ginger in a microwave safe measuring cup for about 45 seconds. Stir in butter until melted. Cool to lukewarm or until below 115 degrees.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, whisk together half of the flour, yeast, ginger , sugar and salt. Add the eggs and milk mixture and beat well. or medium-low speed with the hook attachment. Add the other half of the flour gradually 1/2 cup at a time and continue to mix until the dough has pulled together. Turn the dough out to a lightly floured surface and knead adding more flour as needed for 8 minutes until slightly tacky to the touch or 5 minutes in the mixer.

Cover the dough to let the gluten relax for 10 minutes. While the dough rests, mix the filling ingredients until it forms a paste.

Lightly flour a surface and roll out the dough into a 10×14 inch rectangle. Spread the filling evenly over the dough making sure to reach all sides. Tightly roll the dough from the long side and pinch the seam to seal. Using a sharp knife or unflavoured dental floss, cut the roll into 9 pieces for a 9” pan or pie plate, or 12 rolls for a 9 x 12” pan. Cover rolls with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove the rolls from the fridge and let the dough rest on the counter to take the chill off for about an hour. When ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 20-23 minutes until golden brown.

Whisk together glaze ingredients, adding more melted butter (or rum!) to thin. When rolls have cooled to warm, pour glaze over and serve.