Walnut & Rosemary Five Minute Artisan Bread
2-¾ cups hot water
1-½ tablespoon granulated yeast
1 ¼ tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup chopped walnuts
6-½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Egg white wash – 1 large egg white, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
1. Use some type of large (6-quart) bowl for mixing and storing dough in the fridge.
Place the water directly into the bowl or other large container. Add the oil, yeast, sugar, salt, rosemary and walnuts and stir to combine.
2. Add the dry ingredients to the water and mix until well incorporated and there are no dry spots; the texture of the dough should be fairly soft and shaggy looking. You can do this with a large, sturdy wooden spoon or with your stand mixer. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and begins to collapse (or flatten on top), approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
3. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is a little easier to handle when cold. If not using right away, refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 4-5 days.
4. To bake baguettes; scoop as many pieces of dough as you want – If you want a large, traditional baguette scoop up a scant 1 pound pieces of dough (about ¼ of the batch). Place on a generously floured work surface and turn over to coat both sides of the dough with flour then pat and shape into a rough, slightly flattened oval.
Alternately, you can separate the dough into two round loaves.
5. Cover and allow the baguette(s) to rise till very puffy, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 450°F.
6. When the bread is puffy and doubled in size, slash the baguette several times on the diagonal with a very sharp knife. (Or the round loaves with an X). Brush with egg white wash and sprinkle with walnuts and sea salt.
7. With a spray bottle spritz the baguette generously with warm water, (this will make the crust super crisp and crackly) and bake until a very deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. (Round loaves will take 30 to 40). Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
Adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes
Makes 4 approximately baguettes.