April 6, 2020
Makes 1 loaf
Ok. So, I stole this recipe from Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC. Many have come before me, and many will follow. I studied bread baking in Pastry school many years ago (how old am I again?) but never ventured into home bread baking until yesterday. I do not know why. Lack of confidence perhaps? How could I make a delicious loaf of bread without all of the proper accouterments? Bread oven, bannetons, cloches...... I am here to tell you that it can be done, and it can be done magnificently by you, or like Jim says in his video, by a four-year-old. All you need is some planning (the bread dough must sit for 12-18 hours), flour, instant yeast, and salt. Oh, and if you have a Dutch oven like this one, that would be great. Here is how I interpreted Jim's fabulous recipe. I hope you make it and I hope you make it SOON!!! Ingredients: 3 C AP flour (430g) 1/4 t instant yeast (1g) 1 1/4 t kosher salt (You can add more salt. I felt it really needed it. So now I put about 3/4 T) 1 1/2 C room temp water/slightly warm water (345g) cornmeal or wheat bran as needed (I didn't have any so I just used some whole wheat flour) one piece of parchment paper For an 18 hour rest (I highly recommend this), start your dough at 6pm the night before you want to eat it. Put flour, yeast, and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Add the water and mix until combined. The dough will be wet, shaggy, and not necessarily completely combined. You might see some dry spots of flour. It's ok. Cover it, and set it aside on your counter or somewhere not too hot or too cold (NOT in your fridge). The next day at 12pm, I proceeded with this next step. Sprinkle some of the whole wheat flour on the piece of parchment. Scrape the dough gently onto the parchment and flatten a bit with your hand softly. Fold the dough in 1/2 over itself a couple of times, kind of like you are pulling the four corners of the dough into the center of itself, one piece at a time. Turn the dough over so the seam parts of facing down on the parchment. Cover and let rest for another 2-3 hours. Preheat your oven to 500° F and put the pot in the oven so that it gets SUPER hot. Check the dough. When you gently poke it with your finger, the indentation should very slowly bounce back into shape. Remove the hot pot from the oven and flip the dough over and into the pot so that the seam side is now facing up. This might not happen gracefully. Mine kind of fell in awkwardly and I had to jimmy the dough in there. Oops. Oh well. Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the top and bake for another 15. My crust was dark and I almost thought it was TOO dark. It wasn't. Then I remembered my professor in school always saying (or shouting), "Color means flavor". Phew. Slice it up, butter it up and throw some flakey sea salt on top, maybe of the Maldon variety. THIS IS SO GOOD.