You can also alter the master recipe to make all kinds of bread varieties that would be hard to grow tired of. Naturally, with all that great California Olive Ranch olive oil, we decided to make a no knead olive bread.
Helpful bread baking tools include a pizza peel, a baking stone, broiler tray, corn meal, and or wax paper. Although very useful, a stand mixer is not necessary.
No Knead Olive Bread
6 1/2 cups unbleached AP flour
1 1/2 tbs yeast
1 1/2 tbs kosher salt
1 tbs sugar
1/4 cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil or other high quality brand
2 3/4 cup luke warm water (just warm to the touch)
1.5 cup coarsely chopped pitted olives
1/4 cup coarsely chopped rosemary
Combine the flour, salt, yeast, sugar and mix ingredients together in a large 5 qt container or a large 5qt stand mixer bowl. Add water and olive oil and using the mixing tool begin to mix. Half way until a wet dough is formed, add the olives and chopped rosemary. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, leaving a small opening and allow it to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse or at least flatten, about 2 hours. The dough can be used at this point, however, the book recommends refrigerating the dough for another 3 hrs so that it is less wet and sticky.
When ready to bake, prepare a pizza peel by sprinkling corn meal liberally. Sprinkle a small amount of flour on the dough mixture and pull a good grapefruit size piece of dough, using shears to cut the sticky dough as necessary. We then roll the dough into a boule (ball) according to the book direction: Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on four “sides,” rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go, until the bottom is a collection of four bunched ends. Place on pizza peel and allow to rest about 40 minutes. 20 minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Place an empty boiler tray for holding water on another shelf.
At this point if you like an egg wash on your bread you can do that and slash the top of the bread with a serrated knife about 1⁄4-inch-deep cross, scallop or tick-tack-toe pattern into the top. (This helps the bread expand during baking.) You can also dust liberally with flour and slash with serrated knife. The dough may flatten a bit, but you can reshape as needed.
With a forward jerking motion of the wrist, slide the loaf off the pizza peel and onto the baking stone. Quickly but carefully pour about a cup of hot water into the broiler tray and close the oven door to trap the steam. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is browned and firm to the touch.
Adapted from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day
Watch a video of Jeff and Zoe demonstrate their master recipe here.
The book expands upon the master recipe to flat breads, pizza, and more and also teaches you how to make artisan style loafs such as the wreath, epi, and baguette. So each day or so, pull off new dough to bake. By the 10th day or so, you’ll notice a slightly more sour dough taste. Continue to enjoy or use that as a sour dough starter for the next batch.