Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 4 3/4 c White flour; bread

  2. 2 Cakes compressed fresh -yeast -- (0.6 oz each)

  3. 1 3/4 c Cold water ; (from the tap)

  4. 1/2 c Extra-virgin olive oil

  5. 1 tb Kosher salt ; or flaked sea -salt --

  6. 2 Baking sheets; heavily -

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. -floured Recipe by: The Bread Book, Linda Collister & Anthony Blake, p 105 Put 3,1/4 cups of the flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour. Crumble the fresh yeast into a small bowl. Stir in 1/2 c. of the water until smooth. Pour the yeast mixture into the well in the flour. Then add the remaining water to the well and mix. Mix the flour from the bowl into the yeast mixture in the well with your hand or a wooden spoon to make a very sticky batterlike dough. Using your hand, beat the mixture for 5 minutes until very elastic. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and let rise at room temperature, away from drafts, for 4 hours until it rises and collapses. The dough will rise up enormously, so check that it does not stick to the dish towel. Punch down the dough. Add the oil and salt to the dough and mix briefly with your hand. Then gradually work the rest of the flour in the bowl into the dough with your hand to make a soft, quite sticky dough. When all the dough is smooth and the flour has been thoroughly combined, cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and let rise at room temperature, away from drafts, until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Using a very sharp knife, divide the dough in half, disturbing the dough as little as possible. Do not punch it down or try to knead or shape the dough at all. Tip a portion of the dough onto each prepared baking sheet, nudging it with a spatula, to form 2 rough-looking rectangular loaves, about 1 inch thick. Sprinkle the loaves with flour and let rise, uncovered at rm. temp., away from drafts, until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour. During the last 15 min. of rising, heat the oven to 425F. Bake the loaves for about 35 min., or until they are browned and sound hollow when tapped underneath. Transfer the loaves to wire racks until lukewarm, and then serve. Or, eat within 24 hours, gently warmed. Freeze for up to one week only. "This new Italian loaf, all the rage in London, comes from the area around Lake Como in the north, and it is supposed to resemble a slipper. In any case, it is free-form- simply poured out of the bowl in which it has risen onto the baking sheet in a rough and ready rectangular loaf. It has large holes, and a soft, but chewy, floury crust. I find that many commercial loaves taste of stale olive oil or lack the pungency of good extra-virgin oil. Finding a good recipe for this bread was difficult, and I made abut 30 before I was happy with the results. Taking advice from chef Pierre Koffmann, I adapted his baguette recipe...adding a good quantity of olive oil to the dough, and altering the final consistency. As with the baguettes, it is not easy to achieve a perfect result the first time, even though the final loaf should taste very good. I have not had good results whth easy-blend yeast or dried yeast granules, so I have only included instructions for using fresh yeast." --


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