I love this easy, no knead, bread.
I can’t remember where I found the original recipe, but I’ve adapted it to suit our tastes and we use the same basic recipe for a yummy rustic loaf or for pizza bases.
I do remember the original recipe didn’t use the olive oil and while it was still good, I found the crust was too rough on my tongue and decided to add the olive oil to soften the loaf.
This is how I make it –
In a large ceramic bowl mix together:
- 750 grams bread flour
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon yeast (I decrease the amount in hot weather)
- 600 millilitres of water
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Using a bowl scraper, mix to a doughy paste then cover with a silicon sheet, wrap in an old linen table cloth and leave overnight to rise (at least 12 hours, but I have left it up to 24).
The next day use a scraper to shape the dough then flour the silicon sheet, or a board, and roll slightly to coat. Cover and leave to rise.
At this point I usually can’t wait so I preheat a 2 litre Corning Ware Casserole and Lid to 230 degrees Celsius. When oven reaches this heat, carefully remove the casserole with good oven gloves and drizzle the sides and bottom with olive oil, use the silicon sheet to plop the dough in and drizzle the top with a little more olive oil. Put gloves back on (I frequently forget this step and it hurts!) and replace the casserole lid. Bake for an hour removing the lid at about half way.
Turn out to cool on a rack and serve with anything that is good mopped up with a rustic bread. We also love this spread with butter while warm, and while I’m sure it would make fantastic garlic bread I’ve never had enough left to try.
The addition of the olive oil seems to help the bread last a little longer, but I don’t think it toasts particularly well.
If I’m using the dough for pizza bases I add an additional teaspoon of salt and an additional tablespoon, or three, of olive oil, rise for at least 3 hours before dividing into 3 and rolling out. I try to leave the dough to rise another hour on the trays, but frequently am not organised enough to leave it this long and it is still fine.