Poor Mark Bittman, he started something none of us will soon forget.
Back to the no-knead bread (see my other post on the same topic, from November 9th).
This time, I stuck with the original recipe. Okay, who am I kidding, I never stick with the original recipe. But I used straight-up bread flour, and decided to try folding something into the dough.
It was a really humid day (shocking, given what a friend describes as the fire hose that’s been sitting over Seattle for the last two months), but since I’d never had a problem with the moisture content, I ignored the warning on Voracious (as I have before) that those baking in Seattle might want to go easy on the water.
I let the dough sit for 24 hours, because I forgot about it. No harm done. I deflated it and let it sit for 15 minutes, then I used a soft rubber spatula to dig three little 1/2″ deep troughs lengthwise in the oval of bread. I filled each trough with a thick olive tapenade, then I rolled the bread up from one of the long sides, forming a big fat cigar. I dug another trough lengthwise in the cigar, filled that one with tapenade, and pulled the short ends of the bread up to meet each other, pressing and prodding the dough until it formed a rough ball shape, with all the tapenade somehow magically sealed inside in what I hoped were pretty swirls. Then I continued with the rising business.
I baked as directed. A little on the moist side, but I’d bet it was partly from the excess moisture in the tapenade, so when you try it, bake the bread with 1 or 2 tablespoons less water. True bread magic, no kneading required:
Bittman’s original recipe from The New York Times, dated November 8th, 2006, now requires special membership to the NYT online site. If you don’t have it, buy the darn original and try this version. Or email me, and I’ll send you a copy.
It’s the best bread I’ve ever made at home.