Health and Fitness News

Health and Fitness News Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here.

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What To Cook

Everyone is spending more time at home and in the kitchen since most of the restaurants are either closed, have restricted seating or just doing take-out orders. One of the things many are trying to master is bread baking. It’s an art unto itself. My favorite bread baker was chef Julia Child. She took it to new levels. Some of the best bread bakers let us in on their secrets and short cuts, one of which is no kneading. There is science behind this recipe that you can read in full. I’ll just give a short synopsis:

In 2006, Mark Bittman introduced the world to a recipe from Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery, which had a whole bunch of home cooks opening up their Dutch ovens and exclaiming oh my goodness—I can’t believe I just did that! It certainly had me thinking that.

The No-Knead Bread recipe became an instant hit, and, I’d be willing to wager, started off an entire generation of home bakers on an entirely new journey.

Here’s how the recipe works: combine flour, yeast, and salt in a bowl. Add water and stir with a spoon. Allow to sit overnight. Shape into loaf and allow to rise. Bake in a preheated Dutch oven.

That’s it.

That produces this loaf of bread

Your family won’t believe you baked it. Here is the recipe.

No-Knead Bread

Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery

Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting

¼ teaspoon instant yeast

1¼ teaspoons salt

Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

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