ITALY: This is Sullivan Street Bakery’s signature loaf, using the famous no-knead method made popular by the owner, Jim Lahey. His technique involves an overnight fermentation, which is how you get the gluten strands to develop that would otherwise form during the kneading process. It’s a wet dough, so kind of hard to work with, and you need a heavy pot with a lid (Pyrex works), to mimic the steamy, high temperatures of a professional baker’s oven. But, other than the fermentation, it takes no time at all to make, and is very forgiving in it’s method. It’s the perfect loaf.
Mark Bittman (author of the “How To Cook Everything” series), introduced this to the world in his NY Times article, The Secret of Great Bread: Let Time Do the Work, back in 2006, and then published his own, shorter version, No-Knead Bread: Not Making Itself Yet, but a Lot Quicker, in 2008. I’ve included Mark and Jim’s videos of both methods below, so you can learn how to make either version – the Week 3: Boule uses the shorter method. The videos have ingredients for a plain, all-purpose flour loaf; below is the ingredient list for the olive loaf. Method is the same, either way.
- 375 grams bread flour
- 25 grams whole wheat flour *
- 1-1/2 cups roughly chopped pitted olives
- 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1-1/2 cups cool water
* The whole wheat flour is my addition; you can just use 400 grams bread flour which is what the original recipe calls for.
- Put everything in a bowl, and stir with your hand, or the handle of wooden spoon to combine. Scrape sides to thoroughly combine dry ingredients with wet.
- Cover and let rest at room temperature for 12 ~ 18 hours
- Watch the videos!
- Generously dust a work surface with flour. Scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece onto the floured counter top.
- Using lightly floured hands or a bowl scraper or spatula, lift the edges of the dough in toward the center.
- Nudge and tuck in the edges of the dough to make it round.
- Place a tea towel on your work surface and generously dust it with wheat bran, cornmeal, or flour.
- Lift the dough, and transfer it to the towel, seam side down.
- Cover the dough with an upside down bowl, and let rise for 1 to 2 hours or until almost doubled. (Test by poking it. If it hold the impression, it’s ready, if it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes.)
- Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 475 degrees, and place a covered heavy pot in the center of the rack.
- When it’s risen sufficiently, place a piece of parchment on top of the dough, hold one hand on paper, and another under the tea towel, then lift and flip.
- Using pot holders, carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven and uncover it.
- Lift the dough by the parchment paper, and gently lower into the pot and cover
- Bake for 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake until it’s a deep chestnut color, about 15 ~ 30 minutes more.