Sunday, August 25, 2013

Easy No-Knead Bread!

I have been baking up a storm since learning how to make no knead breads at home! It is much faster, easier, and more satisfying than I imagined it to be, and we are baking at least one loaf a week.

Here is what you'll need:

 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
 1/4 tsp instant yeast
 1-1/2 tsp salt
 1-1/2 cups water

 Mixing bowl
 Spoon or spatula for mixing
 Oven-safe pot with lid

Combine your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and slowly add in the water, combining it enough to make for a shaggy dough with few dry bits left over. It should look something like this:

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, or pop the whole works into a grocery bag and tie it up. Let sit at room temperature for 18 hours or so. Note: if you are in a hurry, place the bowl in a warm spot and you can get it down to a 12-hour rise. If you need more time, pop it in the fridge for a few of those hours to slow down the yeast.

When the time is up, the dough should be soft and wet, pulling away from the bowl with these beautiful gluten-y strands! You'll have to flour your hands well, and try to shape the dough into a rough ball and plop it back into the bowl.

At this point, preheat your oven to 450 degrees with a heavy heat proof pot with the lid on. I use a cast iron Le Creuset dutch oven. Let that pot get hot for 15-20 minutes or so, carefully take it out and plop the ball of dough inside. Cover it with the lid and back into the oven for 45 minutes!

I usually try to flour the top of the bread and make some cuts with a serrated knife to make it look nice (it controls the seams where the bread will burst upon baking).

Here's how it looks after 45 minutes. You can then take the lid off and let it cook for another 10-15 minutes, depending on how brown you want the top to be.

Voila! Here's the finished product. Big airy holes, crunchy crust, and I know what all the ingredients are! This is a really good money-saving tip to learn too, as you get delicious fresh artisan breads at home for a small fraction of the price.

I hope you all try this recipe and let me know how it goes. By the way, this easy yeast version is the gateway drug into sourdough bread baking!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pyrex Butterprint Bowl and Casserole

The same craigslist seller also had these great Butterprint pieces which I wanted to add to my collection.

I wonder who came up with this quirky pattern with the farmers and wheat harvest images! It is kind of hilarious.

I paid around $15 a piece for these, which is normally above my limit, but I really like the 403 size bowl and of course, the butterprint pattern reeled me in. Again. I mixed some bread dough in this bowl the other day and took some pics. I should be able to share that homemade bread recipe soon!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pyrex Pink Gooseberry Bowl

OK I have been going a littttttle bit crazy with the Pyrex lately! My cupboards are getting a bit full.

But there was no way I was going to pass up a chance to get my first Pink Gooseberry ever. I picked this 444 bowl off a craigslist seller.

This pattern is so beautiful, and I think I prefer the pink over the yellow/black gooseberry pattern.

And doesn't it look great with my Blue Scroll bowl thrifted at Value Village a few years ago for five bucks!?

 My Pyrex hoarding addiction continues...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Danish Family Open House

Our little family checked out an open house in town a couple weeks ago and I couldn't resist taking some photos. A Danish family lived there for over 50 years and there were many charming features, including this old photo that was on the fireplace mantle.

I spotted this lovely pillow with embroidered tulips on it in one of the bedrooms. Love those vintage linens!

There was a cute sitting area upstairs with green damask wallpaper.

I bet that wallpaper is several decades old, but it looks great, doesn't it?! I would love to be greeted by this sight every time I walked up the stairs.

One of the children's bedrooms (apparently the "children" are retirees now) had a cute Casper the Friendly Ghost toy! Not sure why the head was backwards...

There was also a little wooden soldier that looked like it had been well loved. This was a nice and whimsical looking room.

Again with the wallpaper! The wallpaper and teak closet shelving!

Groovy colours. =)

Unfortunately, the house was unaffordable for us, even if we were to eat Mac and Cheese every day for the next 25 years. Sigh. Oh well, dare to dream, and at least I took some photos I could share with you all.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Pyrex Primary Mixing Bowl Set ... Again!

Hello Friends and Followers!  Sorry to have been away from you for so long! Don't worry - I have been Pyrexing...

Who doesn't love the PPMBS, aka the Pyrex Primary Mixing Bowl set? I have reunited a couple sets in the past and snagged these bowls off craigslist for $25.

The seller had a brown 401 instead of the blue but I still thought the great condition made it worthwhile. In fact, this is the shiniest red bowl I had ever seen. Usually the reds are dull and scratched up. I wonder why? I noticed this on the fridgies as well.

My favourite of these primary colours is definitely the green. Unfortunately of this set, the green bowl is the most scratched up.

Lately I have been buying and reselling a lot of my vintage Pyrex finds. I think I am too attached to my faves to let those go, so I have to cycle out the fresher goods. The thirst out there for Pyrex remains strong! I have found a lot of Pyrex Collectors locally.

I feel a little bad adding to the trend of increasing prices but I still think I price my selling Pyrex pretty low. Have you all be downsizing your collections too?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pyrex Promotional Gold Leaf Twins Server with Cradle

I mentioned in my previous post that I came upon some nice Pyrex that someone must have just donated to my local MCC thrift.

I have never really had much luck at this location, but you just never know. I spotted this Pyrex promotional Buffet Twins set, complete with cradle and lids! It was all taped up with packing tape, which is usually so hard on the gold leaf pattern. I cringed as I removed it in the store to see if there was damage.

Luckily, the lids were blemish free, the interiors perfect, and the pattern in good shape.

I thought the set was a bit steep at $15 but I had to have it! I have never seen a cradle with full set in the wild before!

I think the brass cradle has made some scratch marks on the pieces themselves but I don't know if there is any way to avoid this, other than ditching the cradle. I feel like I always need to gingerly set the casseroles down!

I mentioned before that I saw the compass divided dish but it was actually the Constellation pattern, the one with the yellow stars. I kind of regret not buying it now, as it was perfect and complete with its lid... Would you have scooped it up for eight bucks?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pyrex Daisy Casserole

I recently went for a walk to my local MCC thrift store and scored a perfect piece of Pyrex.

I love coming across patterned lid pieces, especially when they are in such great condition! I prefer these small lidded casseroles over the divided dishes... I never seem to know what to do with those.

I paid $8 for this little guy, which made me cringe a bit, but it was in such good shape. Someone must have dropped off their pyrex collection that day, as I also saw a Butterprint mixing bowl (badly dishwashered) and a perfect golden compass snack server.

I also bought another lil something that I will share with you later in the week!

I love finding a mass of Pyrex in one spot! Linking up with Nifty Thrifty at A Living Space and ATG's Thrift Share Monday!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cleaning Le Creuset with Barkeepers Friend

Remember my fab $10 Le Creuset find from a few months back? Well I have been using it a lot and kept thinking about whether or not I could clean up the dirty underside a bit.

I actually bought my Bar Keepers Friend for use cleaning vintage Pyrex, but saw a blog post somewhere touting its ability to clean stains on the exterior enameled surface on LC pots.

I moistened my thick paper towels and sprinkled on the BKF, then started scubbing gently. After one cleaning, I was starting to notice some improvement. I gave it a quick wash to see if the enamel lost any sheen, but it was fine. I gave it a second round, scrubbing a little harder.

Here is the Before and After:

Anyone else used BKF on Le Creuset with success? I am pretty happy with it, and might tackle another scrubfest this weekend.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Dansk Kobenstyle Kelly Green Saucepan

So I had almost given up on my local Value Village having anything good for me, but after my pyrex fridgie find recently, I decided to pop my head in this weekend.

Among a bunch of cruddy old fondue pots was this vibrant kelly green Dansk Kobenstyle saucepot! Designed by Jens Quistgaard and made in France, I read somewhere that the green colour is the rarest... Only produced for two years.

There was a really stubborn Value Village sticker covering the label. Methinks that this is why it was still waiting to be picked! It was five bucks, and in great condition.

I haven't decided yet whether to keep it for myself or try selling it on craigslist!

Linking up with Nifty Thrifty at A Living Space and ATG's Thrift Share Monday!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Pyrex Find at Value Village

Just after Christmas, I had to drop something off at the post office and managed to zip into my local Value Village.

Have I mentioned that I just love fridgies? I spotted the yellow 503 from the primary colours set and it was in almost-perfect condition. I swooped into the aisle quickly because a young hipster was scouring the shelves nearby, and you just never know!

I hesitated bigtime when I saw the $6.99 pricetag. With tax, that is almost eight dollars! I caved and bought it, convincing myself that I have an orphan lid at home that has been waiting for it.

I use the dishes for marinading fish, holding and serving salads, and baking brownies so it really doesn't hurt to have multiples.

I also think it looks pretty cute with my Primary Blue and Delphite Blue Fridgies. =) Linking up to Thrift Share Monday at ATG!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hello 2013!

Happy New Year folks! I have been reflecting on the last year over the holidays. Having a baby in February was a life changing event in many ways... Ever since I was 14, I worked summer jobs when I wasn't in school, and never really took any breaks. The longest vacation I took was four weeks to get married and it felt so luxurious. I looked at maternity leave as a big holiday, thinking I would garden, nap, blog, thrift. I got a little less done than I wanted but it has still been great!

The little guy turned 10 months old on Christmas day, and I am gearing up to return to work next week. It will be part time at first, then back to the full time grind at the end of February. I feel very lucky that I have been able to take this much time off, but still have mixed feelings. I am anxious about being away from him, but eager to get that independent part of my working life back!

One of the things I enjoyed this year was baking no-knead artisan breads at home, and then moving on to sourdoughs with my own homemade starter. I hope you all are interested in hearing about it, as I am hoping to write some posts on it. It is a great frugal means of having good real bread, and I use my vintage kitchen goodies to prepare it!

Thanks for sticking with me and my sparse posts through the year. I hope things become a bit more "normal" in the new year and I get a little more thrifting in!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...