Ali’s no-knead peasant bread

Ali's No-knead Peasant Bread | www.theclevercarrot.com

What I love about bread is that we’re constantly learning.

Let me introduce you to my friend Ali. She’s the creator of Alexandra’s Kitchen, mother of 4 totally adorable cutie pies, and author of Bread Toast Crumbs: Recipes for No-Knead Loaves and Meals to Savor Every Slice.

The book is just as fabulous as she is.

Ali’s story is based on her mother’s peasant bread which is an approachable, no-knead loaf that absolutely anyone can make.

The dough is made with instant yeast, so you can expect for it to rise pretty quickly when left in a warm spot. Then it’s shaped and divided between two buttered bowls (BUTTERED!) and left to rise again for a short amount of time. When ready to bake (and this is the cool part) the doughs are baked to golden perfection directly in their happy little bowls.

How fun is that?

What’s practical too, is that her peasant bread is the gateway to many other breads in the book including this Oatmeal-Maple Bread and this insanely good-looking Cinnamon Sugar Monkey Bread.

But as scrumptious as it all sounds, her mother’s recipe was passed down with a catch.

She was forbidden to share it with anyone.

And so for many years, she didn’t. Ali kept it a secret.

Occasionally, the bread would make an appearance on her blog and naturally everyone wanted to know how to make it.

Following her mom’s orders, she told the readers they could find the recipe on the back of a bag of King Arthur Flour. But this wasn’t really the case.

Soon enough, her readers caught on and were too savvy to bite the bait. Ali couldn’t keep the secret for any longer!

The recipe was eventually published on her blog and it was received with great success. The creation of Bread Toast Crumbs followed and the rest of the story is delicious, peasant bread history.

Ali's No-knead Peasant Bread | www.theclevercarrot.com

I’m incredibly excited to share this recipe with you not only because I love bread, new methods, and fun techniques, but I’m inspired to support the work of a fellow bread baker and good friend.

So let’s make some peasant bread, shall we?

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a new chapter

Dutch Oven Sourdough | theclevercarrot.com

I’ve started and stopped this post about 100 times since January.

My head was filled with so many things that any time I’d sit down to write a new post I’d get all restless and distracted. My thoughts would eventually seize up like a bad hollandaise sauce (bless the delete button…).

Yes, I know. Excuses, excuses.

The truth is, I’ve been busy working on a very special project; one that’s literally consumed all of my time, thoughts, energy- you name it. Every day, I’d wake up and dive head first into the arduous task of balancing creativity with life, kids, work, and whatever else. It wasn’t easy and I took on way more than I could handle (hence the radio silence in this space).

But now I’m delighted to report that it’s over! No more deadlines. No more pressure. All of the pages have been signed, sealed, and delivered to my editor and we are in the final stages of completing the details.

What details you ask?…

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alanna’s scrumptious chestnut brownies

alanna's scrumptious chestnut brownies | theclevercarrot.com

There was a point in time when I was completely obsessed with gluten free baking.

I’m not sure how it all started really, but I was inspired to do so and spent a small fortune acquiring every gluten free flour known to the universe.

My cabinets were stuffed to the brim with brown rice flour, white rice flour, millet flour, almond meal and almond flour- I could build a small sand castle out of this stuff.

Speaking of sand, initially, everything I baked tasted weird and gritty.

The culprit, as I quickly learned was the rice flour. For best results, you’re supposed to blend GF flours for best texture, say rice flour with oat flour or something like that.  But honestly, I was just so confused and put off by my failures that I gave up and inevitably went on a gluten binge.

And then, Alanna wrote a cookbook….

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