Have you ever wondered how to make those cool patterns on bread that you see on posh bakeries? I have, and now that I am feeling pretty fancy because I have a Banneton, I decided to go one step forward on my bread “fanciness”.
Having no idea if it was going to work, I went to an art and craft store and bought a nice stencil sheet (pretty cheap, about 8 dollars) – my idea was to spray water on the top of the bread after proofing it and then careful put the stencil on the top and sprinkle Semolina on it.
The result was awesome! 🙂 Tested and approved! Check out the photos:
The bread recipe I used was my Olive and Rosemary bread – It has a very crispy crust and a soft full of flavour centre. It smells soooooo good that you might have to share it with your neighbor (I did). Enjoy it!
Olive and Rosemary Bread
250g Bread White Flour
50g Whole Wheat Flour
30g Pitted Calamata
50g Olive Oil
50g Olive Oil
180g Lukewarm Water
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons dried yeast
1 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary Leaves
In a small bowl mix up the water, the yeast and the sugar until all dissolved.
In a very large bowl mix up the flours, the rosemary and the salt. Make a cavity in the middle of Stir in the Dissolved yeast and the olive oil.
Knead the mixture for about 10 min – you can use a food processor or a mixer to knead, in this case it will be much faster. Mix up the olives and knead for 5 minutes more until all incorporated. This is a Wet dough, resist the temptation of adding more flour, use only the enough to knead.
Oil a bowl and put the dough inside, cover with plastic wrap and leave it to rest in a warm place for about two hours, until it has more than double its size.
Place the down in a floured surface and gently deflate it with your hands, folding it in four.
If you are using a Banneton, dust inside well with flour and place the loaf in it with the seam facing up. If you don’t have a Banneton just shape the loaf and put it in a baking sheet lined with baking paper and dusted with flour or semolina. Cover with a humid tea towel and let it rest proof for another hour or until almost double its size.
Heat the oven to 240C. Put a Dutch oven or a heavy iron cast and ceramic casserole with a lid inside the oven and leave it there for at least 30 min.
When the bread has risen enough, if you are using a Banneton, gently turn the bread on a sheet of baking paper. If not just place it in the sheet of baking paper.
If you want to make the patterns, this is the time for it: Spray some water, place the stencil on the top and sprinkle Semolina.
Score the Bread with a Lame or a Knife – if you choose to do not score and make patterns, is also ok… it is just a cosmetic detail.
Spray the loaf with water (not necessary if you already did it for making the patterns). Quick remove the hot Dutch oven from the oven, take out the lid and carefully transfer the baking paper with the bread to it. Cover with the lid again and pop it into the oven for about 40 min.
Remove the lid and bake it for about 10-15 min more until golden brown.
The load will be baked when it sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. For crispier crust allow it to cool inside the oven.