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SANDRA’S OVERNIGHT NO-KNEAD AGAVE ROSEMARY ARTISAN BREAD

The easiest bread recipe I’ve created to date,
and it’s very versatile in that you can substitute the herbs,
i.e. instead of rosemary, use thyme, fennel seeds, etc…

Yield: 1 round loaf

Prep: 10 Mins.
1st rise: 9-12 Hrs.
2nd rise: 1-1/2 Hrs.

INGREDIENTS:

Wet:
1-1/2 cups warm water

1/2 teaspoon active/rapid dry yeast (not regular)
1 TB amber agave (or honey)

Dry:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dried rosemary (not ground)
1-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

–1 TB melted butter, (to brush top while hot out of oven)

METHOD:
Note: I proof my bread (let it rise) in the oven, no heat ~ A must in Alaska as this method provides for more of a consistent, non-draft environment.
Turn on pilot light in oven (no heat).
In a 2-cup glass-measuring cup, measure the warm water. Add the active/rapid yeast and agave, and stir to combine; set aside.
In a medium bowl, add the flour, salt, and pepper; whisk to evenly incorporate.  Add the wet mixture  and use a wooden spoon to combine, until the dough has pulled away from the sides and is somewhat shaggy.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap that has been sprayed on its underside.
Turn off pilot light in oven (no heat or light), then place the bowl of bread into oven to rise overnight.
The next morning, after 9-12 hours, remove the bread dough proofing in oven.
Turn on pilot light in oven (no heat).
Spray hands with oil and fold dough from outside to inner side (over on itself), working around in circles about 20 times.  Spray hands again, then place the dough ball into a sprayed 10″ heavy round ceramic baking dish, Dutch oven, or cast iron skillet. Cover with plastic wrap with underside sprayed, then let rise for 1-1/2 hours, once again in the oven, turning off pilot light (no heat).
15 minutes prior to last rise, remove dough from oven to finish rising on counter top, then preheat oven to 450F.
After second rise is complete (the last 15 minutes) and dough has doubled in size, remove plastic wrap. Use a sharp knife and cut and ‘X’ on the top 1/4″ deep to control its expansion area while baking.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the internal temp reads 190F with an instant read thermometer.
Remove dough to a wire rack, brush with melted butter, then top with clean kitchen towels to cool.  You can either serve the bread warm or at room temperature.
Store leftover bread in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or refrigerate up to 5 days. ~ Enjoy!
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Tips: If you like your bread with a crispy crust this is how it is when it comes out of the oven. If you like your bread with a softer crust, place it a plastic Ziploc bag and it’ll soften overnight stored on the counter top.

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