Monday, September 12, 2011

No Knead Baguette

20 hours later.......

.... you get to eat these wonderful baguettes!

3 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon instant or other active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups cool 55-65F water
additional flour for dusting
any combination of following: whole garlic cloves, whole olives, sliced olives, halved cherry tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt or kosher salt

1. In a bowl, stir together the flour, table salt, sugar and yeast. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds (you might need to use your hands to form it into a ball). Remove from bowl. Drizzle the bowl lightly with olive oil and return the dough back into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, 12 to 18 hours.

2.  When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Fold the dough over itself two or three times and gently shape it into a somewhat flattened ball. Brush the surface of the dough with some of the olive oil and sprinkle with a little coarse salt, approx 1/4 tsp, (which will gradually dissolve on the surface).

3.  Return the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with a dish towel. Place in a warm draft free spot to rise for 2 hours. The dough is ready when it is almost doubled. If you gently poke it with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes.

4. Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 500F, with a rack in the center.

5. Oil a  baking sheet with olive oil.

6. Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Gently stretch each piece evenly into a long, thin, baguette shape approximately the length of the pan. Place on the baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between the loaves. Embed the garlic cloves, olives or cherry tomatoes into the loaves, about six pieces per loaf. Drizzle olive oil on each loaf. Sprinkle sea salt or kosher salt over the tomato loaves but not the olive ones since the olives are already salty.

7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

Note: The baguettes are best eaten the first and second days.

 Source: My Bread by Jim Lahey

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