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Weekend Project: Crusty Country Loaf

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Cold winter weekends are the perfect excuse to cozy up inside with a baking project. This one will make your kitchen smell like heaven: a country-style loaf of bread baked in a stoneware cloche, with a golden brown crust and a tender crumb. The time-tested recipe comes from our founder, Chuck Williams, who fell in love with the rustic country loaves he first tried in France and Italy. The secret is in the cloche: it duplicates the even, intense heat produced by a brick-lined oven.

 

Crusty Country Loaf

1 package active dry yeast

1 tsp. sugar

1 3/4 cups warm water (110°F), plus more as needed

5 cups (1 lb. 9 oz.) country French, rustic wheat or all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

1 Tbs. salt

Cornmeal for sprinkling

 

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup of the warm water and let stand until bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes.

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the 5 cups flour and the salt and beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the yeast mixture and the remaining 1 1/2 cups water and beat until thoroughly combined, 6 to 8 minutes, adding more water or flour if needed. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until soft, silky and elastic.

 

Spray the inside of the mixer bowl with nonstick cooking spray and return the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes. Punch down the dough and transfer to a work surface. Knead the dough a few times. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then shape into a ball.

 

Sprinkle the base of a round bread cloche with cornmeal and place the ball of dough in the center. Cover with the lid and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes.

 

Preheat an oven to 450°F.

 

Using a sharp knife, cut several slashes on top of the loaf. Cover the cloche, transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F and continue baking until the bread is crusty, golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped, 30 to 40 minutes more, removing the lid during the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and serve while still warm. Makes 1 loaf.

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Recipe Roundup: Thanksgiving Leftovers

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Secretly, we all know why we make our Thanksgiving feasts so massive: we want the leftovers! Roasted turkey, vegetables and cranberry sauce are just as delicious and comforting today as they were yesterday. Here are some creative ways to mix them up with new flavors and ingredients.

 


Thanksgiving Leftovers PaniniThanksgiving Leftovers Panini
Relive Thanksgiving dinner with this impressive toasted sandwich, which contains leftover turkey and many of our favorite Thanksgiving sides. Feel free, of course, to improvise based on whatever you find in your fridge the weekend after the big celebration.
Turkey Fattoush Salad with Pita CroutonsTurkey Fattoush Salad with Pita Croutons
Bring new life to your roasted turkey with this Mediterranean-inspired salad starring zahtar, an aromatic blend of thyme, sesame seed, sumac and sea salt.
Farro Salad with Turkey and Roasted SquashFarro Salad with Turkey and Roasted Squash
In this grain-based salad, sweet-and-sour dried cranberries contrast with smoked turkey and earthy butternut squash.
Italian Loaf with Turkey, White Cheddar and Cranberry SauceItalian Loaf with Turkey, White Cheddar and Cranberry Sauce
Ciabatta or focaccia makes an ideal backdrop for this flavorful sandwich, prepared with leftover roast turkey and cranberry sauce. Using a whole loaf makes quick work of serving a crowd.
Classic Cobb SaladClassic Cobb Salad
This traditional salad has a little bit of everything: turkey, avocado, bacon, hard-boiled eggs and blue cheese. Give it a try when you’re ready for a break from stuffing and cranberries.
Turkey TetrazziniTurkey Tetrazzini
This retro casserole uses up leftover turkey in a tangle of egg noodles, button mushrooms and cheesy sauce—with delicious results. Baked in one pan, or divided into individual ramekins, it’s sure to become an annual post-holiday tradition.
Chipotle Tortilla Soup with Turkey and LimeChipotle Tortilla Soup with Turkey and Lime
This soup gets a kick from chipotle chilies in adobo—dried, smoked jalapeños in a tomato-vinegar sauce. It’s great for out-of-town guest; just make a bit pot, and set up a toppings bar.
Wheat Berries with Roasted Parsnips, Butternut Squash and Dried CranberriesWheat Berries with Roasted Parsnips, Butternut Squash and Dried Cranberries
Chances are you have some roasted vegetables on hand, whether winter squash, root vegetables or broccoli. Toss them with cooked grains, dried cranberries and fresh herbs, and you have a healthy, colorful dish in no time.
Turkey Salad with Celery and CranberriesTurkey Salad with Celery and Cranberries
This simple combination makes a cool, refreshing salad that’s perfect for lunch. Spread on toasted bread, or serve over dressed greens.
Day-After-Thanksgiving Bean SoupDay-After-Thanksgiving Bean Soup
The secret ingredient for this post-Thanksgiving soup is turkey gravy. To make the soup even heartier, stir in diced cooked turkey just before serving