Thursday, April 8, 2010


This is the greatest recipe of all time!!!
I originally found the No-Knead Bread recipe by Jim Lahey, before I left for Korea. That was the whole reason I had to buy a dutch oven before I left. Hee hee

The no-knead bread was delicious, but very crisp/hard and slightly burnt. It was the first time I used my oven in Korea and I may not have converted Fahrenheit to Celsius correctly. I have to give this bread another try, except I have moved on to making the No-Knead Baguettes and can't stop making them. I had to start substituting some of the flour to wheat flour, because we were consuming a large quantity of baguettes. The wheat is great in there too, but try the recipe without substituting first. 

No Knead Stecca (baguette) Recipe
By Jim Lahey

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
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt

Optional: whole garlic cloves, olives, cherry tomatoes or anything that sounds good to you.

*All dry ingredients in before I add the water.

1.  In a medium 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. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, 10 to 18 hours.

*This is what the sticky dough should look like. 
Now just cover it and forget about it. 


*This is after 12 hours of sitting on the counter overnight. You will see bubbles on top of dough. This means you're very close to eating this delicious bread. 

2.  When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or 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 1/4 teaspoon of the coarse salt (which will gradually dissolve on the surface).

 *I'm so lazy I don't even fold the dough over. I just scrape the dough out of the bowl with wet hands and tuck all the sides towards the back so the top of my dough is smooth and the seam is on the bottom. I set this down on a floured tea towel and place it back into the bowl. Brush the top with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and tuck the tea towel over the dough. Don't forget to sprinkle the salt on top of the dough. I use sea salt. Let rest for 1-2 hours.

3.  Place a tea towel on your work surface and generously dust it with flour. Gently place the dough on the towel, seam side down. If the dough is tacky, dust the top lightly with flour.  Fold the ends of the tea towel loosely over the dough to cover it and place in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 to 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, pre-heat the oven to 500F, with a rack in the center. Oil a 13″ x 18″ x 1″ baking sheet.

5.  Cut the dough into quarters. Gently stretch each piece evenly into a long, thin, baguette shape approximately the length of the pan. Place on the pan, leaving about 1 inch between the loaves. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

(Don't forget to add garlic, olives or tomatoes.  I used the fat green olives, because that's all we have here, but kalamatas would be yummy too!)

*I cut the dough in quarters with a knife to get 4 balls of dough. Then I stretch the dough with my hands to get 4 loafs. They do not have to look perfect. My oven here is mini sized so my baguettes are not as long and stick like, but shorter and fatter. I would use a regular baking sheet if you have a normal oven. 

*Don't forget to drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt on the tops of each loaf. It really does make all the difference.

6.  Bake For 15 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Cool on a pan for five minutes, then use a spatula to transfer the baguette to a rack to cool thoroughly.

*I think my tops are not as brown, because my oven does not go up to 500F.
FYI - I don't let it cool.  
Just take a bite!  
So delicious. 

Note: The baguette may become a bit soggy in just a few hours because of the salt on the surface. If that happens, reheat the loaves in a hot oven until crisp.

Baguette (Stecca) Recipe:  My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method 
by Jim Lahey

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