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Kitchen Hack: One-Minute Bread

Kitchen Hack: One-Minute Bread

    Oven-fresh bread is one of life’s simple joys. Ciabatta, a crisp-crusted Italian bread with hints of sourdough and loads of crannies longing for butter, is one of the easiest breads to make at home.

    Why are we talking about baking bread on Lifehack? Because kitchen hacks aren’t just impressive, they often have very tasty results! In this instance, I’m going to show you how to make ciabatta with less than one minute of prep time. How is that possible? Like many great hacks, this one uses simple ingredients and as few steps as possible to get the job done.

      You may have heard of “no-knead” bread before. Mark Bittman and many others have promoted their versions of an artisan bread that doesn’t require any heavy labor. While those recipes also create delicious results, they involve too many steps to be considered a real hack.

      I wanted something very, very simple that delivered great results in 60 seconds of prep time or less. It may take you a few tries to get below the one-minute mark, but I think you’ll enjoy the results every time!

      For your ciabatta you’ll need:

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      • 4 cups of all-purpose flour (do NOT pack the flour into the measuring cup)
      • 2 cups of warm water
      • 1 teaspoon of salt
      • 1/4 teaspoon of granulated yeast (or equivalent)


      For the gorgeous readers needing metric equivalents of this recipe, Toon left a comment with the following conversion:

      • 500 grams of all-purpose flour
      • 4,7 deciliter of warm water
      • 4 grams of salt (= 1 teaspoon = 5 ml)
      • 1 gram of dry yeast (= 1/4 teaspoon = 1,25 ml)


      You’ll also need a medium-size mixing bowl, a 10×15 cookie sheet or baking stone, a hand towel or plastic wrap, and whatever you’d like to keep your bread from sticking (if you’re using a pan, I use flour and corn meal).

      Have everything handy? Good. Let’s do this!

      1. Mix Water & Yeast

      Pour the warm water into the medium-size mixing bowl and stir in the yeast with a spoon. No need to be particular, just dump and slosh.

        2. Add Flour And Salt

        Add flour and salt to your bowl of yeasty water. This, after measuring out the flour, presents another prime opportunity to get flour on your person. This will be regarded by many as a sign of your culinary determination. You’ll need such signs because anybody who actually watches you make the bread will think you’re one of the laziest bakers in existence.

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          3. Stir Into A Heavy Batter

          Use a spoon. You could use your hands if you wanted but you probably didn’t wash your hands before starting this anyhow. Start with a quick run about around the perimeter of the bowl with your spoon. A few quick strokes through the middle and you should have a heavy batter. If it looks too thick to be pancake batter and not thick enough to be playdough, you’re right on target.

            4. Set It And Nearly Forget It

            Cover your project with a hand towel or plastic wrap and set in a safe place for a few hours. After the dough has rested for 8 to 12 hours, it will have nearly doubled in size. (If you add a bit of sugar at the start and you’re in a hurry, you can rush this process but I don’t recommend it for your first try.)

              5. Preheat Oven & Prepare Your Pan

              There’s a lot of room for variation at this stage. The goal is to place the dough onto a surface that will keep it from falling through the oven rack and not stick on. I use an old cookie sheet sprinkled with flour and corn meal. You can use a buttered pan, pizza stone, or baking paper. It’s up to you. The flour/cornmeal method takes only a few seconds.

              Before you start prepping your pan/stone, set your oven to 400F. (For those of you using wood stoves, don’t stress the particulars. Pull a few cedar shingles off the back porch roof and get that fire burning hot!)

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                6. Pour Out The Batter

                This is the fun part! Uncover the bowl of dough and slowly pour it out onto the pan you just prepared for it. You’ll want to use a spoon to guide the dough into place and get the last bits out of the bowl. The dough will be very wet and sticky. That’s okay! Get the dough out onto the pan and if you’re lucky, it’ll look something like this:

                  7. Add Spices (If Needed) & Place Bread Into 400F Oven

                  If you’re trying to stay within the one-minute prep, you probably won’t have time to sprinkle some of your favorite herbs onto your ciabatta before baking. If you’re not worried about time, some dried oregano, basil, and rosemary make a nice addition.

                    8. Remove Your Ciabatta From The Oven

                    Check on your ciabatta after about 25 minutes. Once it’s golden brown on top and looks good to eat, take it out of the oven and set it aside to cool for at least 10 minutes. You can cut into it immediately but if you do it’ll collapse and won’t look as pretty.

                    Wait! You really thought I wanted you to take a hot pan out of a 400F oven without some sort of protection? Craziness! If you don’t have an oven mitt handy, take off your shirt, fold it so there will be at least 6 layers of cloth protecting your hand, remove the pan from the oven and place in a safe spot to cool.

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                      9. Slice & Enjoy

                      Move your ciabatta off the pan or baking stone and onto a proper cutting board for demolition and devouring. Ciabatta is famous as a sandwich bread but, like most breads, it’s absolutely delicious right out of the oven.

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                        Feedback Time!

                        1. What do you think of this hack?
                        2. Will you try it? (Let me know if you do. I’d love to see a photo of your results, too!)
                        3. Would you like to see more articles like this on Lifehack? If so, is there something in particular you’d like us to cover?

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                        Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                        12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

                        12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

                        Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                        But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                        I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                        Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

                        1. Nuts

                        The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                        Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                        Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                        Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                        2. Blueberries

                        Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                        When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                        3. Tomatoes

                        Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                        4. Broccoli

                        While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                        Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                        Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                        5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                        Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                        The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                        Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                        6. Soy

                        Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                        Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                        Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                        7. Dark chocolate

                        When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                        Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

                        15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                        8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                        Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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                        B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

                        Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                        Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                        To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                        9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                        Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                        Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                        Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                        10. Gingko biloba

                        This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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                        It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

                        However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                        11. Green and black tea

                        Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                        Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                        Find out more about green tea here:

                        11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                        12. Sage and Rosemary

                        Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                        Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                        When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                        More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

                        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                        Reference

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