OTHER CHRISTMAS BREAKFAST IDEAS: Hot Raisin Bread; Yogurt Pancakes with Pomegranate; Oversized Chocolate Chip Muffins; “City” Oatmeal with Blueberries and Dried Cherries; Red Flannel Hash; Smoked Salmon Scramble
Christmas morning calls for a little something extra. At the same time, I think for most people, it’s also not officially a part of the day’s celebratory eating. It’s merely something to tide you over during present opening until the real deal: lunch or dinner. (Would love to hear more about your Christmas breakfast traditions in the comments if I’m wrong…)
This version of no-knead bread, which I made on a whim recently, is almost like a present itself–the crust hides a bundle of raisins and walnuts–and is just delicious toasted until golden and spread with salted butter. Its schedule fits with Christmas too: Start the first rising as you’re wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve, ask Santa to take care of the second rising, then bake as soon as you’re up in the morning.
From my kitchen, wishing you merry merry, to yours,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Walnut-Raisin No-Knead Bread
Makes 1 loaf
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup Thompson raisins
1 2/3 cups water
Cornmeal or more flour as needed
Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add the walnuts and raisins and stir to distribute. Pour the water over the flour mixture, then use a rubber spatula to mix them together and form a soft, ugly dough. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for about 12 hours, until there are bubbles across the top.
Dump the dough out onto a floured, non-terrycloth dishtowel. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Then, using as little flour as possible, shape the dough into a ball by folding the ends in. Turn onto a cornmeal-dusted non-terrycloth dishtowel, seam side down. Dust with more cornmeal, then cover with another towel. Leave for two hours. (That’s Santa’s rise.)
When there’s a half hour left to go of this rise, preheat the oven to 450°F and put a covered, heavy pot in the oven.( I use my 5.5 quart LeCreuset to achieve a well-proportioned loaf.) When the dough is ready, carefully take the pot out of the oven. Dump the dough, seam side up, into the pot and shake it to spread evenly. Cover and bake for 20-30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15-30 minutes, until deeply brown and crusty. Let the bread rest as long as you can before slicing into it.
I store my bread in an airtight baggie, even though this makes the crust soft. To “re-crust” a whole loaf, you can dab it all over with water and bake for about 10 minutes in a 450°F oven. If you’re going slice by slice, just toast to rectify the crust.