More adventures with no-knead bread. These baguettes are good on their own, but as the foundation of a sandwich – spectacular!
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon yeast
- 1 1/2 cups cool water (55 to 65º)
- additional flour for dusting
- olive oil kosher or sea salt
- finely chopped fresh basil
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
- cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Add the water and stir until well combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours. Dough should double in size.
2. When the first rise is complete, dust a work surface with flour. With a rubber spatula, scrape the dough out of the bowl onto the floured surface. Fold the dough over itself several times and shape it into a ball. Brush the dough with olive oil, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the coarse salt.
3. Place a tea towel (not terry cloth) on the work surface and dust it with flour. Place dough on the towel seam side down. Dust the top with flour and fold the ends of the towel over the dough to cover. Let rise until almost doubled, 1 to 2 hours. Poke it with your finger, if it holds the dent, it’s ready to bake – if it springs back – let it rise for another 15 to 20 minutes.
4. 30 minutes before the end of the second rise, preheat oven to 500º, place rack in the center of the oven. Oil a 13″ x 18″ rimmed baking sheet.
5. Cut the dough in four. Gently stretch the pieces to fit the length of the pan, leaving at least an inch between loaves. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining coarse salt and chopped basil. Press halved tomatoes into the dough, and top tomatoes with a slice of shaved garlic – I used the method Paulie did in “Goodfellas“.
“He was in a year for contempt and he had this wonderful system for doing the garlic. He used a razor and he used to slice it so thin that it would liquefy in the pan with just a little oil. It was a very good system.”
6. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool. Makes 4 loaves.
(Adapted slightly from Jim Lahey’s My Bread.)