My friend Linda brought this bread to dinner a couple of weeks ago. It is a wonderful tasting bread.
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery from the NYTimes 11/08/06
Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface (may need more than light flour depending on how sticky the dough is). Place dough on this and flour the top and fold it over itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap for 15 minutes.
Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface and to your fingers, gently shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked
with a finger.
At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot in oven as it heats. ( can be cast iron, ceramic, enamel, pyrex) Whendough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up. It will look like a mess but that’s okay. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed, it will straighten as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake for 30 minutes, remove lid to brown and continue to bakc another 15 to 30 minutes. Cool on a rack.
A couple of notes from me. I placed an extra towel on the granite counter top because it is so cold. I had to use a metal bowl because I made 1 1/2 batches. You need a big bowl and I will be buying a much larger glass or Pyrex bowl. The metal was fine but I prefer the glass.
I also used my Romertopf clay cooker. I soaked top and bottom at least 15 minutes and then placed it into the cold oven; then pre-heated the oven as noted above. Also, you will need to shape the loaf to fit the clay cooker. It is delicious in the clay cooker. I will be buying a cast iron dutch oven to try as well. I also decided to try adding some whole wheat flour. I only replaced 1 cup of flour to see how it tastes. It is heavier but still very tasty. I found I needed a little more flour when I removed it to the counter. It was very sticky and didn’t cooperated much. I found that it comes out great no matter how much of a mess it looks going in.
Kristin, I know my grandsons will love this bread. Enjoy.