Getting through life with a few spoons only – part 2: no machine? no knead!

This is the second installment to my series about low spoon cooking and it’s about using the no machine/no knead methods to your advantage.

Often times, “no machine” is used in the context of making ice cream. Regular ice cream recipes require a machine in which the cream mixture is frozen while being stirred. These machines can often be quite expensive and the process of making ice cream can be tedious. Which is why there are recipes that don’t require you to cook the mixture and then churn it (see below for my recipe of choice).

But I also use the term “no machine” in the context of not needing a standing mixer (like a kitchenaid) to be able to prepare something. Standing mixers, like ice cream machines, can be expensive. And not just expensive but also fairly bulky to keep on a kitchen counter. Plus: unless you bake a lot (or prepare very extensive recipes with a lot of steps to them), a standing mixer is not really necessary.

In fact, I had my first experience with owning a standing mixer/food processor combo about 12 years after my mom started teaching me to cook and bake; we only ever had a handheld mixer, which is something you don’t even need for the majority of recipes I’m going to be mentioning in this post. Most of them are using the “no knead” method, which is another step down from the “no machine” one, because “no knead” recipes add time and subtract the work part.

If you have a bit experience with yeast doughs (or even if you don’t), you might know they need love. The more love you put in through kneading, the better your dough. But let’s be real: even if the dough is relatively easy to handle and forgiving, kneading isn’t something everyone is always able to do. Or wants to do, for that matter. I like making a nice yeasty dough, but kneading is often the part of the recipe that makes me say “nope, not today”. And this is when the “no knead” method comes in, which uses less yeast than most regular recipes and adds 10-14 hours more rising time.

The only work you really actually do, is mixing the wet into the dry ingredients and only so much so that there’s no floury bits left. All ingredients have to be saturated. And that is it. Then you let it rise/ferment. (All recipes I mentioned feature videos that show everything step by step.)

Here are some recipes I love.

  • pizza dough: this is the pizza dough I mentioned in my other post. It is simply lovely. I’ve tried a few pizza doughs now and there was one that tasted quite like this one, but it required a lot (a lot!) more work and many more steps than this one. This dough, which I found on Gemma Stafford’s BiggerBolderBaking, is very forgiving and gives the baker a huge amount of time to prepare and finish it, which I adore because I sometimes simply need more time to go through the same steps.
  • donuts: these donuts aren’t just “no knead”, they’re also not fried but baked, which is certainly a nice step to be able to bail out on, because frying requires time and concentration. The donuts need to be cut out with a large cookie/scone cutter (and a smaller one for the hole), which admittedly can be too much work sometimes, but don’t worry if you’re not able to cut them out after the dough has risen because you can keep it in the fridge for up to three days which should give you enough time to recover.
  • Irish Soda Bread: this bread is considered a quick bread because the only thing you really do is saturate the dry with the wet ingredients and then simply bring the dough together into a loaf. And it is delicious- hearty and cozy. (Is that an acceptable word to describe bread? :D)
  • Supreme Pizza Bread: this is the bread I mentioned in my first post. I usually make it without the filling, because there’s less cutting involved that way, but it does taste good with it as well.

For all the recipes above you only need a bowl (I prefer glass, but that is definitely your choice) and a spatula or wooden spoon to bring the dough together. You can also use your hands, but due to my sensitivity issues I sometimes cannot stand the sticky dough, which is why I use my favorite wooden spoon. Then, you’re also going to need cling film (Saran wrap/plastic wrap) or a lid for your bowl, plus a towel or two to protect the bowl the dough from drafts.

 

  • no machine ice cream: this recipe is brilliant. You can whip it up in a pinch and I am not exaggerating. Granted, a handheld mixer is needed or, let’s say it this way, it would be advantageous but you could probably whip the cream with a whisk and a lot of elbow grease. Aside from that, though, you only need (whipped) cream and sweetened condensed milk for the base, then vanilla/vanilla extract (and, if you’re going for a different flavor than vanilla, also those ingredients)
    • If you are dairy-free, here is a recipe for you that uses coconut milk.

 

All of the recipes are from ladies who also have youtube channels, so you can also check out the videos on their sites to follow the recipes visually step by step.

Next up: more recipe ideas, including basic ingredients like pasta and how to use them in different meals.

Thank you for reading and happy baking. 🙂

 

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