Vancouver, March 2014
There’s nothing quite like home-made bread: the smell, the taste and the real sense of accomplishment. But it can be quite laborious what with all the kneading. No more thanks to Jim Lahey from Sullivan Street Bakery!!! Here’s his original recipe which I followed from the article in the NY Times. It’s so easy that even little Norah could make it (well- one day soonish…)
Honestly- this is super easy, just follow the instructions and within 24 hours you can enjoy with lovely cheese and wine.
Preparation time: approx 30 mins
Resting time: 14-20 hours
Baking time: approx 1 hour
- 3 cups of flour (I used wholewheat) plus some for dusting
- 1/4 tsp of instant yeast
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 5/8 cups of water
- 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic)
In a large bowl (larger the better as the dough will grow and grow!!!!!), mix all dry ingredients. Add your water, stir until blended and no dry flour is left. Then cover with plastic wrap and leave in a dry, warm area for a minimum of 12 hours. The original recipe recommends 18 hours. I left mine for 15 hours and it worked a treat!
After your minimum resting time of 12 hours- your dough will be all bubbly (like in the photo). It’s ready for it’s next stage! Lightly flour a hard surface, and place your dough on it. Sprinkle with a bit of flour and fold once or twice on itself. Cover it with plastic while still on the work surface and let sit for 15 mins.
Prepare a COTTON tea towel by generously covering it with flour. Take the plastic wrap off- and shape into a ball- making sure to use flour to ensure the dough does not stick to your fingers or work surface. Put dough seam down into your floured tea towel. Sprinkle more flour on your dough and cover with another tea towel. Let sit for another 2 hours.
30 mins before your dough is ready, preheat your oven to 450 F degrees, placing your heavy covered pot in the oven while it heats. When dough is ready, take out the pot (don’t burn yourself- it’s HOT HOT HOT!!!). Turn dough into the pot (no grease needed!)- leaving the seam side up. Cover with lid and bake for 30 mins. then, take the lid off and further bake for another 15-20 mins or until beautiful crust is formed. Cool on rack.
It’s super hard to wait another few minutes to dig in- but it’s worth it. Let sit about 15 minutes once removed. Then go for it! Makes delicious toast, sandwiches and is stunning alone with just a bit of butter. Also- go nuts with your imagination! How about Rosemary and Salt bread? Cinnamon Raisin anyone? How about walnut bread? Don’t mind if I do!