A little over a year ago King Arthur Flour posted one of the nine recipes from Sam Fromartz’s, “In Search of the Perfect Loaf,” which was released last year. The recipe posted was for Stirato bread, to quote Fromartz, “like an easy-to-make baguette.” Well, that sounds right up my alley. My motto is, less is more. While I went ahead and ordered my copy of Sam’s book, I couldn’t wait to try out this particular recipe. So, following King Arthur's instructions, I went ahead and baked the perfect load of bread.
Throw on your baking cap preheat your Baking Steel and let's get cooking..And to give you novices a little boost of confidence, this bread recipe is very similar to Jim Laheys' No Knead pizza dough. You should knock this perfect loaf out of the park. Good luck...
Stirato Bread, recipe by King Arthur Flour
From In Search of the Perfect Loaf, by Sam Fromartz
500 Grams (3 3/4 cups) All purpose flour ( I used bread flour)
375 Grams (1 2/3 cup) water 80 F
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) of active dry yeast
10 grams (1 tsp) of sea salt
This recipe is very similar to Jim Lahey's no knead pizza dough. There are a few differences in the technique. A little more time and patience, is required you can decide if it's worth the extra effort.
1. First whisk the flour and yeast, next incorporate the water. Mix and then make a well in the center. Pour in the salt and let rest for 20 minutes uncovered.
2. Next, we're going to fold each corner into the center one at a time. So fold, turn the bowl and fold again. Continue this process for about 1 minute. Then let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
3. Continue this process 3 times, but the 3rd time you'll notice a little bounce or spring in the dough. This is ideal.
4. Now you're going to let this dough rest covered for 7 hours and the dough will double in size. It's likely best to divide this work into two days. Leaving the dough in the fridge over night is a good strategy.
5. Remove the dough and check out the beautiful air bubbles, allow dough to sit a room temp for a couple of hours. It's going to rise a bit again...
6. Preheat your Baking Steel at 450 F for about 45 minutes on the middle rack. Place a sheet tray or pan on the bottom rack at the same time, we're going to create some steam.
7. Flour a work surface with a combination of flour and semolina. Mix both well on top of parchment paper.
8. Remove the dough and place carefully on parchment. You're going to form into a rectangle about 10 x 16, don't stress over the size. Just not too thin....
9. Divide the dough with a bench scraper into 4 long strips and let rest for 20 minutes.
10. Now we have to launch, the back of a sheet tray is a good tool. Slide the parchment on the back side of a sheet tray. Carefully, this dough is soft. I did all four at the same time, an easier strategy may be to start with two, and then repeat.
11. Immediately after the launch, place 1/2 cup of water into your steam pan. Close the oven and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Boom! you're done...
Slice horizontally and make some killer sandwiches...
Update 1/19/17 So i've been making a lot of baguettes lately and I find this perfect loaf to be a lot less fussy. Has anyone tried this? Just be sure to use parchment paper underneath, it allows for much easier launch and removal of loafs.