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Recipe supplied by Sullivan Street Bakery and printed in the NY Times, this bread recipe so insanely brilliant - no sticky fingers, no doughy mess, no intricate measuring, no complicated kneading. Totally hands-off. The crust is thin, crisp and snaps as you cut into the loaf. The interior of the bread holey, chewy, airy and light. This low fat, low cal bread will become a staple in your home as it has mine.
- EQUIPMENT: Two medium mixing bowls, 6 to 8 quart pot with lid, (Pyrex glass, Le Creuset cast iron, or ceramic), Wooden Spoon or spatula (optional), Plastic wrap, Two or three cotton dish towels (not terrycloth).
- PROCESS: Mix all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add water and incorporate by hand or with a wooden spoon or spatula for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Lightly coat the inside of a second medium bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest 12 hours at room temperature (approx. 65-72°F).
- Remove the dough from the bowl and fold once or twice. Let the dough rest 15 minutes in the bowl or on the work surface. next, shape the dough into ball. Generously coat a cotton towel with flour, wheat bran, or cornmeal; place the dough seam side down on the towel and dust with flour. Cover the dough with a cotton towel and let rise 1-2 hours at room temperature, until more than doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 450-500°F Place the pot in the oven at least 30 minutes prior to baking to preheat. Once the dough has more than doubled in volume, remove the pot from the oven and place the dough in the pot seam side up. Cover with the lid and bake 30 minutes Then remove the lid and bake 15-30 minutes uncovered, until the loaf is nicely browned.
This bread recipe is simply divine. I tried it after watching the video on the New York Times website. I left the dough to rise for nearly 24 hours rather than 12 (there is an immense amount of flexibility offered with the timing here) and cooked it in a tagine. It is quite possibly one of the best loaves of bread I have ever made, and so simple as well. Will definitely be making this again in the future.
Checked out "My Bread" by Jim Lahey (of the Sullivan St Bakery) and tried this last week. Fantastic! It is probably the easiest bread I have ever made (without the help of a bread machine). Texture is perfect and the taste is phenomenal. I plan to make several other recipes from the book, but hard to imagine anything better than this. Thanks for including it here, I can reference it when I make it again!
I have seen this same Jim Lahey recipe in Men's Health Magazine with slight less water and more precise preparation instructions, e.g., use instant yeast, lightly flour the dough and hands on handling. I found that the dough did not rise at all according to the recipe when I used his whole wheat variation, and if the dough doesn't double in 18 hours, what would make it double again just by shaping it into a round shape and covering it for 1-2 hours? It is such a gooey mixture that any seam I made just fell apart as the dough rested on release.