The Beast From The East – Still Waiting

So the mainland is at a standstill with The Beast. England that is, they have it bad, there are flights cancelled and chaos on the roads, schools are closed and public transport seriously disrupted. But we haven’t got it yet, it is very cold though so it’s on it’s way.

This is what our weather looks like today …

This maybe, is the calm before the storm as they say. In case I disappear off the face of the Earth, this is what I look like today…

Description would be something like: grey long sleeved top, skinny blue jeans, grey boots, grey hoody, grey eyes (see a grey pattern going on?) and unkempt hair. I even have my thermal socks on today, oh they aren’t grey though. Last seen wandering about the kitchen muttering strange things about getting enough break baked in time before the power goes out.

My bread bake today is another no knead artisan loaf, this time with olive oil. So far to date all the artisan bread I have made has basically followed the basis of the 5 minute no knead craze that is going about. I got googling and found mention of olive oil in place of some of the water. It was my first time and I thought it turned out okay, however if I were to make it again I might keep the dough extra day before I bake it. With this sort of bread keeping the dough in the fridge for a couple of days really improves the flavour.

Olive Oil No Knead Artisan Bread

6 & 1/2 cups strong white bread flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1.5 tablespoon salt

2 sachets easy bake yeast

2 & 3/4 cups warm water

1/2 cup olive oil

Place the flour into a big mixing bowl. Mix all of the other ingredients in a jug, it will be a gloopy mess.

Pour the oily water mix onto the flour and mix until it is just combined. It will appear to be craggy and floury, this is good.

Now do nothing except cover the bowl with some cling film and leave to rest on the worktop for around 2.5 hours.

After the 2.5 hours, place the bowl of dough in the fridge and leave it to do its own thing.

About 24 hours later you can use the dough, however I think leaving it longer is better and it can be kept for up to two weeks.

This amount of dough will make three small loaves, I made two medium size loaves with mine.

On baking day grab some of the dough and shape it into ball shape, or whatever shape you are making your bread and leave it to rest at room temperature. I rest my dough in a banneton basket, but a bowl or a colander would do the same job.

30 minutes into its resting time heat your oven to 240C/470F and place a pizza stone or your baking tray in the oven to heat. It’s going to be smoking hot, this is good, also place a metal dish in the bottom shelf of the oven. Once your oven is hot pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water into the metal dish and close the door, it will start steaming.

Meanwhile tip your dough carefully onto a non stick sheet sprinkled with cornmeal or rice flour. I use teflon sheets here but you will know what works for you. It won’t have risen a lot, please do not worry.

Slice the top of your bread and slide it onto your pizza stone.

Allow the bread to bake for ten minutes with the steaming dish below. At the ten minute mark open the oven wide and remove the steaming dish. Turn the oven down by about ten degrees.

Bake for a further 20/25 minutes until your bread reaches a nice dark brown crusty colour.

If you are able to wait it’s best to your bread cool fully before you cut into it as the inside still cooks a little when it’s fresh out of the oven.

Enjoy!

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