Stirato is a form of ciabatta that is cut into lengths and then stretched just before baking. This is a no knead version, with the first rise lasting up to 18 hours to develop flavor. The flavor definitely lives up to the hype, and the thin crispy crust just sings when you first pull it out of the oven.
It's incredibly easy to make, and the recipe is pretty foolproof. You can slice it crosswise for bruschetta, lengthwise for sandwiches, or use it for dipping in olive oil and balsamic.... or pizza sauce. It makes great garlic cheese bread too.
I baked this bread on a baking stone and covered each loaf with the lid and the inverted bottom of this SuperStone /Covered Baker.If you don't have the baker, I recommend either making sure there is plenty of steam in your oven, or covering the loaves with disposable aluminum pans or the lid of a roaster. The cover just needs to be around the same size as your baking stone.
The recipe for this bread has been adapted from My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method by Jim Lahey.
I've got a collection of about two dozen books on bread, and I can easily be distracted by new "shiny things" (aka new bread books) on the horizon. Sadly, when I pulled the link for this book from Amazon, I was reminded that I bought this book in 2009.... and had NEVER cracked it open. Oy!!
I have made several versions of no knead bread, but this book from Jim Lahey is the book that Mark Bittman cited in the New York Times when he ignited the no knead trend. Best that I pay my long overdue respect.
For similar Italian style baguettes using a different method, check out these Pain à l’Ancienne Baguettes.
- 400 grams (3 cups) bread flour
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 300 g (1 1/2 C) cool water