Saturday, December 26, 2009

French Epis

1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
13 fl oz warm water
about 3 3/4 cups bread flour
2 tsp kosher salt

Dissolve yeast in water. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour and salt. Add yeast mixture. Using the end of a wooden spoon, bring ingredients together. When dough begins to form, turn out onto an unfloured surface. Knead until dough is elastic.

Form into a ball, place in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled. Do not punch down. Scrape dough onto a floured countertop. Cut in half and flatten gently with the heel of your hand into an elongated oval. Fold one side (lengthwise) into the centre and seal with your thumb. Repeat with the other side. Fold in half and seal along the seam. Roll a bit to shape lengthen and move to a towel-lined baking tray. With a pair of scissors held at a 45-degree angle to the dough, start at one end and snip deep Vees 3/4 into the dough. Push point to either side, alternating. Cover and let rise until doubled.

Preheat oven and baking stone to 450F.

Transfer, one at a time, to a floured baking peel or wooden cutting board. Working quickly, slide epi from cutting board to hot baking stone. Repeat. Generously mist inside of oven with water (about 12 sprays). Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

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