Sunday, August 8, 2010

Meatball Sub on Homemade Bread

Since I've found a comfort zone of sorts making No Knead Bread, this week I decided to revisit the cookbook from the guy who invented the technique to see if I could make some baguette type loaves to use for meatball subs.

There on page 77 of Jim Lahey's My Bread was a recipe for Stecca - an Italian stick bread that didn't require kneading OR special baking equipment - just a sheet pan.

I made up four Stecca loaves and they worked perfectly for meatballs subs tonight - made using some ground beef from Olsen Farms, onion and herbs from our own garden, some leftover sauce and horseradish cheddar cheese from Appel Farms.

Stecca No-Knead Bread
3 cups bread flour
1/2 tspn table salt
3/4 tspn sugar
1/4 tspn active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups cool water
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 tspn coarse sea salt

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, table salt, sugar and yeast. Add the water and mix until you have a wet, sticky dough - about 30 seconds. Cover the bowl with an overturned plate and let sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, 12-18 hrs.

When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubble spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Fold the dough over on itself two to three times and gently shape into a somewhat flattened ball. Brush the surface with some of the olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 tspn of the course salt.

Place a tea towel on your work surface and generously dust with wheat bran, cornmeal, or flour. Gently place the dough on the towel, seam side down. If the dough is tacky, dust the top lightly with flour. Fold the ends of the tea towel loosely over the dough to cover it and place in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1-2 hours. The dough is ready when it is almost doubleed. If you gently poke it with your finger, it should hold the impression. If not, let rise another 15 minutes.

Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F, with the rack in the center. Oil a 13x18 inch baking sheet.

Cut the dough in quarters. Gently stretch each piece evenly into a stick shape approximately the length of the pan. Place on the pan, leaving at least 1 inch between the loaves. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining coarse salt.

Bake 15-25 minuts, until the crust is golden brown. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then use a spatula to transfer the stecca to a rack to cool completely.

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