This is the easiest bread ever. Here's the famous, original recipe:
But there's a billion other versions out there. The original writer also did a book on the bread.
The basics of the recipe boil down to this:
3 cups of flour
3/4 tsp instant yeast
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
Combine dry ingredients.
Will form a shaggy, wet dough.
Cover dough, then let it sit for roughly 8-24 hours. Dough will rise and form bubbles.
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Stick dutch oven/ some sort of covered casserole dish into oven to get hot.
Cover hands/surface with flour. Turn dough over once or twice. Cover again and let sit for another half hour.
Once the half hour has passed/ the oven is hot, cover your hands in flour again, form the dough into a ball (if possible) and drop into the hot dish in the oven. Can cut slits in the top if you fancy.
Cook for 30 minutes with the lid on, then 15 minutes with the lid off.
Carefully remove from oven and when possible, tip the bread out. If it's done, will sound hollow when the bottom is tapped.
The neat thing about this recipe? You'll see a billion versions of it because it's super super forgiving. Less instant yeast? Sure! Oops, too much water? No problem!
You can also add more stuff to this. I've done:
Chocolate bread-- added 2 tbsps sugar, maybe a tbsp cocoa powder, and a cup of chocolate chips.
Wheat-- two cups wheat flour, one cup white flour, then I also threw in some chia seeds, sunflower seeds. etc.
Cheese-- I usually do a cup of shredded cheese, and then dial back the salt content. Also ends up needing more water. I think next time I'm gonna amp up the cheese, actually.
Cinnamon-- added 2 tbsps sugar, 1 tbsp cinnamon, and a cup of cinnamon chips. WAS CANDY BREAD.
Note: You can also use the instant pot to speed up the rising process! But I have only tried it with chocolate bread, which I do NOT recommend-- the heat melted the chocolate chips. Oops. Very very wet dough, made a very flat, dense bread. But you could probably do that with a normal white bread or a wheat bread no problem.
Show me your sexy bread pics!!
I made up a stupid Magic format, it was every bit as terrible as I'd hoped, and I want to tell you about it.
For most of its history, Magic: The Gathering sets were printed in "blocks" of 2-3 that were thematically related. This started in 1996 and continued until early 2018. Before blocks started*, there were 6 early expansion sets that were all extremely ad hoc (by today's standards) as they were put together very hastily. What's interesting about them is that while they are all extremely uneven power-wise, it's generally agreed the first 3 contained many truly powerful cards (especially for the time) and the latter 3 were a true low point for Magic set design.
Sealed packs of those first three sets (Arabian Nights, Antiquities, and Legends) are extremely rare and expensive. Sealed packs of those other three sets (The Dark, Fallen Empires, Homelands)... not so much.
[*Nerd note: I am glossing over the Ice Age retcon shenanigans by just calling that the first block.]
Anything from the first decade of Magic is gonna play really badly in limited (sealed or draft) formats because it wasn't really designed for that. Let alone trying it with the 3 worst consecutive sets in Magic history, that aren't even mechanically related.
So of course I really, really wanted to try it.
I decided to create a "The Dark Block" sealed deck game using The Dark, Fallen Empires, and Homelands. All three sets have a post-apocalyptic flavor to them. The Dark & Fallen Empires explore the after effects of a global war, while Homelands explores a community that's created a home in a wasteland. It's some epic on-point flavor for the worst sets and it ties the whole thing together almost poetically. It's "The Dark Block" in more ways than one.
A few more things to keep in mind about these sets:
I decided to really go all-in and double up on Homelands, probably the worst-designed of these badly designed sets. It has a special nostalgic place in my heart, and it felt like throwing a little more gas on the fire. So we'd each get:
Soon it would be time for a truly dark game of Magic.
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