1In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast into the warm water. Usually takes around 10 minutes until you get a nice thick foam on top. When the foam coats the entire top, you’re good to move on to the next step.
2Add 1 TBS of olive oil along with the salt and pepper into the sugar/yeast mixture. Do not stir.
3Add in 1/2 cup of the bread flour and stir with a spoon. Then, add the other half and stir until the dough comes together in a ball but is still semi sticky.
4Now, we knead. Dust your surface with flour, and I suggest putting a little olive oil on your hands before getting started. Once the dough is evenly textured and has a bit of elasticity (about 3-4 minutes) you can put it into a bowl greased with olive oil and cover with a dish towel. Allow it to rise for an hour or so, or until it’s about double it’s original size.
5Divide into two portions and stretch like you would a pizza dough to a size that is about 6" wide by 9" long. Flour your baking sheet and place both portions onto it. Allow to rest for 20 minutes, and then brush each portion with 1/2 TBS of olive oil and more salt if you want it.
6Bake in a 410 oven for 10-12 minutes until the top of your flatbreads are golden.
7Let it cool and eat it. And don’t forget to turn the oven off.
Most granola is a fancy twist on toasted oats—consider that when contemplating the exorbitant prices retailers charge for it. The thing is, granola is incredibly easy to make at home, and for a fraction of the cost. This recipe is a granola base to which you can add whatever dried fruit, nuts, or other tasty bits make you happy. Feel free to tweak this with other spices, a little less honey, more salt—it’s quite forgiving, and customizing your own blend is the fun of making your own. If you want to experiment even further, try using other rolled grains such as spelt or barley and wheat instead of oats.
Basic Vegetable Soup
This soup is an equally wonderful way to use up all the leftover veggie odds and ends in your fridge, or to celebrate the freshest produce in season by buying it specifically for the dish (and if you get a CSA box, it can serve both purposes). Whatever vegetables you use, this is an easy, nutritious, and delicious meal, and endlessly customizable. Fresh pesto makes a great, vibrant garnish, but you could also simply sprinkle on a bit of grated Parmesan and cracked black pepper.
Basic Chocolate Mousse
Simultaneously rich and light, chocolate mousse just requires a little bit of finesse, and the freshest, best-quality ingredients (eggs, chocolate, and cream) you can procure. Be sure to chill your cream very well and get every speck of water out of the bowl and whisk you'll use for the egg whites, then use a light hand when folding in the whipped cream, and you'll have a perfectly fluffy and decadent dessert.
Basic Napa Cabbage Kimchi
A traditional banchan (Korean side dishes presented as part of a meal), Kimchi is a rich combination of fermented vegetables that can be used as a complement to a variety of recipes.
How to Cook Basic Beans with Steve Sando
Steve Sando, bean impresario behind Rancho Gordo, outlines the steps from beans in a bag to glorious pot o’ beans. Dried beans may not be fresh, per se, but the ones you're using shouldn’t be more than two years old. Soak them first, and then use the soaking water to cook them. A quick, hard boil followed by a long, slow simmer will get them cooked up right. (Click here for Steve's bean-cooking recipe.)