Sunday, January 20, 2013

B.L.T. Tartines

It was a B.L.T. kinda day, so I opted to turn the traditional sandwich into a Frenchy open-faced edition. Yup- bacon, lettuce and tomato are definitely traditional ingredients. But in this case, the salad is served atop toasted bread with a light yogurt lemon dressing, rather than the typical slathering of mayonnaise.

In lieu of buying bread, I decided to make this beyond-simple "Slow and Easy Bread in a Pot" using Jacques Pepin's recipe included in this issue of Edible Columbus (Page 18-19. Sidebar: I wrote the article about Malabar Farm in this issue).  The bread requires only 4 ingredients to be mixed directly into a non-stick pot, let rise and bake. Did I mention the slow and easy part? This recipe literally takes five minutes to make-- if you don't count the 16 hours of rising and one hour of cooking. Mix 2 1/4 cups of tepid water (90 degrees-ish) with 1 teaspoon of quick rise yeast and a tablespoon of salt into a non-stick pot; one able to withstand 425 degrees in the oven. I used a 3.5 quart Le Creuset Dutch oven. 

Blend 4 cups of flour into the water until a sticky dough is formed. Cover and let the dough rise for an hour or so at room temperature. The dough should be bursting at the seams by this point. Scrape the dough off the lid/sides of pot, deflate the dough and reshape it into a ball. Place the lid back on the pot and pop it in the fridge for another 12-14 hours to finish proofing. I let it proof overnight. Zzzzz.....  

Seriously, that's it... when time came for baking, I deflated it once again and shaped it into a doughy ball, filling the bottom of the pot about 3 inches deep. This rivals the Provencal Ham and Cheese Bread as the easiest bread on earth.

Bake uncovered at 425 for about 45 minutes. If it looks sufficiently brown, then loosely cover with foil  and bake another 15 mins... VOILA... one hour & voila... home made bread in a pot. A simple recipe with endless variations. 

This made a rather large two-pound loaf, so I sliced the bread bruschetta style to top with the BLT salad. (I have since made this bread recipe a half dozen times. PERFECTION every time!)

From this point on, it took about 15 minutes to make the topping. Bacon. Check. Lettuce. Check. Tomatoes. Check (I tend to go light on the tomatoes for the husband's sake). In fact, I replaced the tomatoes in a smaller batch with cucumbers, which he really enjoyed.  Reminded me of the crunchy (BLC) cucumber sandwiches I made while living in England. 

You can see from the picture, this isn't a full-sized open faced sandwich, but rather small appetizer-sized portions. They had all the flavor one expects from a BLT, but seemed substantially lighter because of the dressing.  

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