No Knead Bread with Everything But The Bagel Seasoning

 
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I love baking bread, and no-knead breads are SO easy, yet with every loaf I learn something new. I'm still working on getting the outside color just right as well as those air pockets inside. After making my first few loaves of no-knead bread, I decided to experiment with some different add-ins. One time I tried fresh rosemary (no rosemary flavor, boo), but I do have a Toasted Sesame Bread recipe you should check out if you're feeling fancy. I like the Toasted Sesame Bread more than Kelvin does, but just plain no-knead bread is totally delicious, too. You could easily convert the recipe below into plain bread by omitting the Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend, but why would you? Also, why is the name of this seasoning soooo long? The bottle is not that big, so it's pretty much a miracle that they can fit the name onto the label. You can find the seasoning at Trader Joe's. My local store is usually sold out of it, so hopefully you have better luck than me in finding it. Otherwise, you could also make your own using sea salt, garlic, onion, black sesame seeds, white sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. But I'll take my chances and just attempt to get it at Trader Joe's. (This isn't sponsored, btw.)

No Knead Bread with Everything But The Bagel Seasoning

Ingredients

3 C bread flour (all purpose is fine, too, but you're gonna wanna make this more than once so might as well invest in some bread flour)

1/2 tsp active dry yeast

1 1/2 C warm water

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend

Directions

Add the yeast and warm water to a large bowl and let sit for a few minutes. Meanwhile, sift 3 C bread flour over a medium bowl. Scoop 3 leveled cups of the sifted flour into the large bowl containing the yeast and warm water. Set the leftover flour in your medium bowl aside for later.

Add the salt and Everything But The Bagel Seasoning and mix well. It'll look a little shaggy, but that's okay. Cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise for 8-24 hours.

Once the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 450F along with a Dutch oven with lid on. Next, pull out some parchment paper onto your work surface and grab that leftover flour from sifting earlier. Sprinkle some flour over some parchment paper, and flour your hands. Pull the dough out of the bowl, and place it onto the floured parchment paper. Grab some of the dough from the bottom and stretch it up to the top. If it sticks to your hands too much, add more flour to your hands, parchment paper, or sprinkle onto the bread. Continue stretching/pulling all around the bread until a cute ball starts forming. Turn the bread upside down so any seams will be on the bottom of the loaf and gently pat the sides to encourage it to keep its ball shape (I like to give the little guy a pep talk while I do this, like, "Attaboy, sport. You got this." No? Okay. Just trying to prepare for parenthood here.) Let the dough sit for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, take the Dutch oven out and carefully plop the parchment paper and dough into the Dutch oven. I trim the extra parchment paper that sticks out over the top. Put the lid back on, and bake for 30-35 minutes. Uncover, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Carefully set the loaf onto a cooling rack, and learn from my mistake by avoiding slicing it until it's completely cool. I love this bread plain, but my favorite toppings are cream cheese, egg, and avocado. You could also sprinkle a little extra of the bagel seasoning on top. Enjoy!

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10 Valentine's Day Treat Ideas

I used to hate Valentine's Day. In high school, my friends and I wore all black one year in "protest" to the holiday. I even went to Target the day before to buy an all-black outfit. In college, I just ignored Valentine's Day. Most of my friends were single anyway. Now as a teacher, I really loathe it because students are FULL of sugar, and it's like, "What's the point?" (Please don't get me wrong, I do love my students.) However, this year I am really looking forward to Valentine's Day because I've gotten into this crazy addictive baking kick, and out of all holidays, Feb. 14th is probably the best excuse to bake. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! < That is literally how I feel inside right now when I think about baking.

Throw your New Year resolutions aside, and check out some fun baking ideas below. Some of them don't even involve baking! The first 5 are super easy and the last 5 require more skill. Which one do you want to try? Imma try #8.

For the less experienced baker, or the one who's short on time...

 1  Strawberry Short Cake "Shish Kabobs" &nbsp;- I recently made these for a gathering with friends, and they were a big hit. The recipe suggests using popsicle sticks, but I used bamboo skewers, and they worked great.&nbsp;They're super easy for kids to (make and) eat, too.  2  Chocolate-Caramel Truffles   3  Strawberry Pretzel Chocolate Swirl Bark   4  Love Bark: Rose + Chocolate &nbsp;- I've made a similar recipe using rose water. Rose + chocolate is just yummmm.  5  Pink Popcorn &nbsp;- nuff said.

1 Strawberry Short Cake "Shish Kabobs" - I recently made these for a gathering with friends, and they were a big hit. The recipe suggests using popsicle sticks, but I used bamboo skewers, and they worked great. They're super easy for kids to (make and) eat, too.

2 Chocolate-Caramel Truffles

3 Strawberry Pretzel Chocolate Swirl Bark

4 Love Bark: Rose + Chocolate - I've made a similar recipe using rose water. Rose + chocolate is just yummmm.

5 Pink Popcorn - nuff said.


For the more experienced or ambitious baker...

 6  Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies  - can't go wrong with one of Deb's recipes.  7  Conversation Heart Cookies   8  Valentine's Day Chocolate Cake  - I'm planning to make this for Valentine's Day, but don't tell Kelvin! There's an amazing video tutorial on Zoe Bakes' Instagram, in her highlights.  9  Valentine's Day Almond Cake &nbsp;  10  Mahlab Sugar Cookies

6 Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies - can't go wrong with one of Deb's recipes.

7 Conversation Heart Cookies

8 Valentine's Day Chocolate Cake - I'm planning to make this for Valentine's Day, but don't tell Kelvin! There's an amazing video tutorial on Zoe Bakes' Instagram, in her highlights.

9 Valentine's Day Almond Cake 

10 Mahlab Sugar Cookies

Toasted Sesame Bread + My First Recipe Video!

This is my F I R S T  R E C I P E  V I D E O  ever! I was so stressed while recording it that I got a bit of a tension headache. Then I spent like 3 hours editing it and was like, “Why did I think I had to get it perfect the first time?” Anyway, baking and cooking should be a relaxing experience, and so I hope this bread baking is relaxing for you.

Have you seen the no knead four ingredient bread recipes floating around the internet? I’m not super experienced with bread baking (aside from living vicariously through bakers on The Great British Baking Show) so I gave a couple of those easy recipes a shot, experimented with a couple ingredients, and then jazzed it up with some sweet rice flour to make it a little more stretchy than the average loaf, not to mention the sesame seeds and sesame oil for an amazing toasty flavor. I love it, and it reminds me of a healthy version of jin dui without the bean or lotus paste. Oh, toasty, sweet, greasy jin dui. Do yourself a favor, go out for dim sum, and order some jin dui. And other tasty dim sum. Anyway, this Toasted Sesame Bread is way less unhealthy and is super delicious.


Toasted Sesame Seed Bread


Ingredients

2 C unbleached all purpose flour

½ C unbleached bread flour

½ C sweet rice flour (available at Asian markets; sub another ½ C bread flour if you don’t have or can’t find this)

½ tsp active dry yeast

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp white sesame seeds, toasted

1 Tbsp black sesame seeds, toasted

1½ C warm water

2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, divided

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Directions

Sift or pat through a mesh strainer the flours over a medium bowl: all-purpose, bread, and sweet rice. Stir flour mixture around, then scoop 3 cups of the mixture into a large bowl. Set the leftover flour in your medium bowl aside for later.

Add the yeast, salt, sesame seeds, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, and warm water to the 3 C flour mixture and combine just until evenly incorporated. Cover the bowl and let rise for 8-24 hours. I prefer mine to have a less fermented taste, so I like to let mine rise for a shorter amount of time, like 16 hours max, although I left mine for 24 hours in the video. Of course, if you’re out running errands or sleeping or going on a day trip and forget, letting this dough rise for 24 hours will still be great.

Once the dough has risen, heat the oven to 450F and put your baking pan of choice in the oven. I like to use my Dutch oven since it’s deep, thick, and has a nicely fitting cover. While the oven and pan are preheating, grab that extra flour from earlier and sprinkle some flour over a smooth surface like a countertop or cutting board. Also flour your hands. Carefully pull the dough out of the bowl, place it on the floured surface, and pick any leftover pieces out of the bowl and add it to the dough. Grab some of the dough from the bottom and pull it up to the top. If it sticks to your hands too much, add more flour to your hands, your work surface, or sprinkle onto the bread. Don’t be shy with that extra flour! Continue pulling all around the bread. Turn the bread upside down so any seams will be on the bottom of the loaf. Let the dough sit for 30 minutes, or if you’re impatient like me, until your oven is fully heated.

Carefully pull your baking pan out of the oven, add the remaining 1 Tbsp of sesame oil to the pan, and spread it around using a paper towel while wearing an oven mitt that at least covers your wrist so you don’t burn yourself – that baby is hot! Carefully plop the dough into your baking pan, enjoy the little sizzle sound, add some more toasted sesame seeds to the top of the dough, cover the pan, and bake for 30-35 minutes. Uncover, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

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Cool the loaf on a wire rack until it’s cool. This loaf will be good wrapped in foil for about a week, but it tastes way better the first couple of days after baking. Enjoy with some roasted tomato soup, eat as avocado toast, a hole in one, or, one of my fav combos: cream cheese, lavender, and honey. How would you enjoy your toasty slice?

Roasted Tomato Soup

 
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Hello friends, 

It's been so long since I've posted on The White Wong. I'm sorry for the absence, not sorry 'bout that rhyme.

We are officially in our house and unpacked! I've been very much enjoying our new kitchen and am working on some recipes for end of summer/fall. However, I have not been working on getting our house clean and organized enough to take photos and post them here. Cuz, ya know, making food and taking photos of it (and video - coming soon!) takes care of hungry husband and recipes for blog all at once. Having a clean and organized house? Nobody wants that. Anyhoo, all that to say, check back soon for house pics!

For now, enjoy this tasty recipe. It's the last one that I took photos for in our apartment, so it feels a little reminiscent to me (so, any countertops/floors in the pictures are old). This recipe is one of my favorites to make during busy times because it's healthy, delicious, and easy to make! It is a tad fall-ish, which I apologize for since we all love summer (except us Phoenicians), but I figured this would be a good way to use up one's tomato harvest.

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Roasted Tomato Soup

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

2 lbs. tomatoes (I use vine ripened tomatoes, but is delicious with a variety of other tomatoes like Campari, Roma, Heirloom, etc.)

1 chopped onion (see my guide on How to Chop an Onion)

1½ tsp minced garlic

Drizzle of olive oil

16 oz. vegetable broth (or chicken broth)

½ tsp dried or fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper to taste

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Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or liner.

Wash and quarter the tomatoes. Peel the onion and chop.

Place the tomatoes, onion, and garlic onto the lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and add the salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the veggies start to char a tad.

Remove veggies from oven and carefully scoop the roasted goodness into a large pot. Add in the 16 oz. of broth or stock, ½ tsp thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.

Turn off the heat and either puree the soup mixture with an immersion blender, or carefully scoop into a large blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

Serve warm and enjoy plain or fancy. Sometimes when I need an extra oomph of flavor, I add a little feta just before devouring. This soup is also perfect with a grilled cheese, garlic toast, or crackers.