I am getting a lot of responses from friends who follow this space with regards to my pregnancy. Frankly, I was expecting more feedback on the recipes, blog and the anecdotes but it seems like my kiddo is more appealing than this space :) . Most people seem to skip the part on my ailments and my Carpal tunnel syndrome and keep congratulating me. At times this upsets me a lot, because it takes me a hell lot of effort to keep up with my cooking and blogging not to forget the other daily chores I perform with two numb hands. And then I face mindless sympathy notes daily urging me to pray, offering me condolences on my situation, asking me why I got CTS when normally no one gets it. I am cut off from half the world because I cannot respond to calls and mails.
To cut a long , boring story short, I am in my 34th week of pregnancy and my hands hurt like hell 24×7. I cannot sleep at night so I am often awake and the fact that I cannot flip pages of a book, or type for long makes me mad ( and seeing everyone else snore makes me madder). So I have started cooking late nights. I am advised not to, so I find recipes that require minimal use of hands. And that’s how I made this No knead bread and Strawberry apple jam.
Some ask me why I blog when I have a pending thesis. Seriously I have no answers, I cannot type for 10 hrs a day not even 2 hrs a day so yes my thesis is pending but I need to indulge in something that can take my mind off the pain. People dread birth pangs. I am eagerly looking forward to that day hoping to be relieved off my Carpal tunnel syndrome though experts tell me it lingers around for few months post delivery. Let me assure you cooking is therapeutic in any misery and though my hands go numb ( even if I sit idle) this is the only activity that takes my mind off the pain. Wow ! that was cathartic, I have no clue how many would really understand this pain though. So let’s focus on the jam and bread for now. I will post recipes till the day I have two hands ( that’s my new motto) :) and tormentors please deflect yourself.
Ingredients for No Knead Bread
All purpose flour- 3 cups
Instant yeast- 1/2 tsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Warm water- 1 1/2 cups
For the bread – Mix all the ingredients. Use warm water not boiling hot water. Mix using a spatula and refrain from kneading. It will look messy and watery, but cover the bowl with a plastic warp and keep it on your counter top for 12- 20 hours.I started the process around 11 am so I left it out near my kitchen window till 5 pm. After 20 hours the dough will be wet and well risen. Wet your hands well. Sprinkle some flour on your counter top and dump the dough onto this surface.Do not knead just fold in the dough a few times and form a ball, do not add excess flour, the water content is essential for the softness. Plop the dough onto the baking dish and let it double for another 2 hours.Preheat the oven at 220 degree Celsius. Bake the bread with lid covered fro 30 minutes and then with the lid opened for 20 minutes and your bread is done. I did not have a lid so I baked it open all the time.You can refrigerate this dough up to four days and bake a sour dough bread, I did it last time and I love the sourness. I would love to try this recipe with bread flour next time, but since it is not economically viable I think all purpose flour should be fine for now.See to it you get a baking dish with a lid, I am gonna try it again with the lid on next time.
Ingredients for Apple Strawberry Jam
Strawberries- 500 g
Caster Sugar- 400 g
Wash and hull the strawberries. Toss it with some sugar into a pan and bring the mixture to boil. Keep stirring and keep the flame low. Core and peel the apples dice them to small pieces and toss them into the strawberry mixture.Skim the foam that forms while the jam is cooking. Let the jam simmer for 22- 30 minutes. If you use a copper pan this process will be faster. When the jam reaches a thick consistency ( if you have a candy thermometer the temp should reach 220f). Allow the mixture to cool down and refrigerate the jam in a sterilized bottle.
Note: Use green apples for better flavor.