The basic no-knead artisan crusty bread has proved itself over and over to be a keeper of a recipe that just keeps getting better and better. Just remember to make the dough the day before you want to make the bread.
Given the name stecca, I thought this bread was invented in Italy one, maybe two, centuries ago.
Turns out it was invented in modern day times by a New-Yorkian baker who wanted a thinner and easier version of a baguette. I got the recipe from steamy kitchen.
Sure enough, the result is a bread thick enough to cut in half and make a sandwich, and thin enough to cut into bits and use as a vehicle for various dips.
Either way, there is no denying its rustic appeal and deliciousness.
3 cups flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Instant or Rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 cups water
8-12 cloves garlic, peeled
8-10 stuffed green olives
8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 Tbsp olive oil, to brush
coarse sea salt, to sprinkle
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast.
Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 – 18 hours. Overnight works great.
Pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball.
Gently stretch each piece evenly into a long, thin, baguette shape approximately the length of the pan.
Place on the pan, leaving about 1 inch between the loaves.
Embed the garlic cloves, olives or cherry tomatoes into the loaves, about five pieces per loaf.
Drizzle, tab or brush olive oil on each loaf.
Sprinkle sea salt or kosher salt over each loaf, remember to go light on the olive loaf since the olives are salty.
Cool on a pan for five minutes, then use a spatula to transfer the baguette to a rack to cool thoroughly.
Note: The baguette may become a bit soggy in just a few hours because of the salt on the surface. If that happens, reheat the loaves in a hot oven until crisp.