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Published on September 21, 2021

Drop-dead moving and no-knead bread

By Shirley Prihoda
The Bulletin

With our recent move into our new home in Columbia Lakes, the lack of sure-footing took on a whole new meaning. Being cheap, - I could say frugal but cheap is a more definitive word - we decided to pack and move boxes ourselves to save money on movers.

On paper, this seemed like a good idea, but then on paper most things appear easier than the reality of accomplishing them.

With naivety, we headed to Home Depot for boxes and tape. We boxed, taped, and labeled the kitchen first. In my exuberance to complete the task, we overloaded them, and they were too heavy to lift.

Thankfully our neighbor’s look of bewilderment at her departing friends’ plans moved her to compassion, and she loaned us her little red wagon. We loaded and moved boxes for a whole week. This is where the lack of sure-footedness manifested. We bumped into walls, the car, and basically anything that was in a fixed position. By the end of the 6th day, the contact sport we were playing with fixed objects fully presented itself in our arms. We looked as if we were the other guy from the famous retort “You should see the other guy!”

Since everything was packed, we wore the same two outfits for six days. Make-up and all the things we hide behind were also somewhere in a box.

One quick observation revealed we would have to step up to be assessed as homeless. The sweet ladies at Sonic on Dixie Drive didn’t seem to mind our appearance every morning. There must be a special place in heaven for people who don’t judge others from the outside in.

Some people seem to have the ability to look put together regardless of what they are wearing; I am not one of those. This is unfair in my estimation. These same people seem to also be the gifted ones who “glisten” while sweating. I am also not in that group. Like the majority of us, you probably aren’t in that group either. The drive from Lake Jackson to Columbia Lakes offered ample time for reflection on the things we feel are needed to define us.

This thought process led me to the Israelites who wandered in the desert for 40 years, all-the-while wearing the same outfit! Undoubtably, there had to be some in that wilderness-wandering group during their 40-year hike who aced the same outfit look. However, I bet, like me, you have wondered if they ever got tired of the same outfit every day, especially the same shoes!

The long-haul hikers didn’t awaken every day to putting on the same old clothes. They awakened each day to a new day and new clothes! For them and us, His mercies are new every morning. As we walk through the wilderness of this life toward the promised land, we have scriptures that hold a promise of a new and fresh day every day. All we must do is get up and put those clothes on!

I am sure the long-haul hikers ate lots of bread on their 40-year trip.

This Bakery-Style No-Knead Ciabatta Bread recipe uses aging time to skip both the kneading and special equipment and results in bread that’s even better than you’ve had at Italian restaurants.

Ingredients

3 ½ cups Bread Flour
½ cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 ½ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Instant Yeast
2 cups Lukewarm Water (120°F)
1 tablespoon Olive Oil

Instructions

You must begin the day before:

In a large bowl mix together the flours, salt, and yeast. In another bowl, mix the water and oil.
Add the wet into the dry ingredients and mix to form a wet dough. Scrape down the bowl and cover with a plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Leave to ferment at room temperature for about 18 hours. Over this time flavor and texture will develop.

The Next Day:

Prepare 2 large baking sheets: Line one baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel and dust liberally with flour. Line the other with parchment paper. Set aside.

Uncover and punch down the dough and roll into a ball. Divide the dough into two pieces and place side by side on the floured towel. Cover with the kitchen towel and allow to proof for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Once bubbles have formed, and the dough has risen, turn over each loaf and stretch it out to 16 inches as you turn it then carefully place it on your parchment-lined baking sheet. Dust with flour and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Allow the bread to cool completely before cutting. Enjoy fresh with butter. Any leftovers toast up great for homemade garlic bread.

(To contact Shirley, please send emails to john.bulletin@gmail.com or write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, Tx. 77516)