There are so many excuses to not make your own food. Many people I talk to mention lack of time as their number one reason why they purchase processed food. I counter with, you don’t have the time NOT to make your own food. Cooking at home results in less preservatives and chemicals, making you a healthier person, and giving you MORE time…. time alive that is. A 2012 study from Cambridge discovered that participants who cooked meals at home 5 or more times a week were 47% more likely to be alive in 10 years. That’s a lot of life to be gained from spending time in the kitchen.
One food that doesn’t take a lot of time to make from scratch is bread. Almost a year ago I wrote a post entitled “You Need to Make Bread,” and introduced a few 1 hour bread recipes. These recipes are incredibly easy, quick, and cost $1-$2 a loaf. Organic bread of similar quality will cost you $5 a loaf. However, recently I made the discovery of a method that is even quicker AND easier than this 1 hour bread. Furthermore, it results in bread with a lot more flavor, texture, and complexity.
Presenting, the overnight refrigerator bread! Also known as the cool rise technique.
For the basis of my recipe, I used minimalist baker’s Easiest Whole Gran Seeded Bread. The minimalist baker is totally my hero, and every single one of her recipes has always turned out fantastic. I have followed this recipe to the T before, and got great results, yet I hate having to stick close to home in order to let the bread rise, transfer it to the fridge, etc. I had heard about the cool rise technique, of simply letting bread dough rise for longer in the fridge, and decided to experiment. Thus, one night before bed, I simply put some fresh bread dough in a bowl, covered it with a damp towel, and plopped it into the fridge.
When I woke up the next morning, that little loaf baby was ready to go! I kneaded it, put it in a greased bread pan, let it rise for 40 minutes (so quicker than 1 hour) and baked it for about 30 minutes. Delicious! I believe this longer technique of cool rising gives the bread a heartier, and more complex flavor. And who doesn’t love a fresh slice of hot bread to go along with their hot morning coffee?
Overnight refrigerator bread is cheap, easy, and quick enough to fit in to your weekend routine. I like making the dough Saturday night, and having the bread fresh on Sunday morning. The leftovers are great for sandwiches the rest of the week.
Again, For overnight refrigerator bread, follow minimalist baker’s recipe, substituting an overnight fridge rise for all but the final in bread pan rise.
This week in updates: Lake House
No receipt yet this week as I am doing the family reunion thing in Wisconsin. After work Thursday I jumped on a flight, arriving at midnight in the great Midwest. The flight and subsequent driving was not the best for my rehabbing back, but seeing the extended family in a beautiful lake house has been worth it! Coming from Sacramento, the 80-90 degrees here and all the green vegetation is absolutely lovely! It’s also fun to see the kayaks I bought as a post boot camp present about 6 years ago being put to good use. The fridge here is fully stocked, and I’ve been showing off this week’s recipe, black bean vegan “Nutella”, on freshly cut strawberries. All I need to make the weekend complete is a couple of barbells, and some flour to make more bread. Now that would really bring people together!
The Recipe: Vegan Black Bean Nutella
Reading up on vegan nutrition, it has become even more apparent to me that beans are crucial. However, beans and rice, no matter your spice combinations, are not satisfying for every meal. Thus, I’ve been trying new ways to up my bean consumption in delicious and nutritious ways. Enter, sugar free, vegan, and black bean Nutella! This stuff is delicious, and makes a fantastic lunch smothered on a banana with strawberries, or a slice of freshly baked overnight refrigerator bread. If you buy date pieces, as opposed to whole dates, it is also cheap! I paid $0.50 for the bakers cocoa, $1.00 for the black beans, $0.50 for the non-dairy milk, and $1.00 for the date pieces. Makes 2 cups.
- 1 cup dried black beans
- ½ cup non-dairy milk
- 1 cup date pieces
- ¼ cup baker’s cocoa
- 1 drop hazelnut or almond extract
- Soak and cook black beans. Throw all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!