Sea Salt and Olive Oil Pain D'Epi

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 50 min
Prep: 25 min
Inactive Prep: 1 hr
Cook: 25 min
YIELD: 1 loaf
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

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Directions

Put the flour, 1 teaspoon salt and yeast into a large bowl. Stirring with a wooden spoon, add enough water until the dough just comes together. Stir in the olive oil.

Flour your work surface and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form the dough into a tight ball so the top is really nice and taut. Place it onto a floured baking sheet and form it into a long and thin baguette shape, thinner than usual as it will expand while it rises.

Cover the tray with lightly oiled plastic wrap so it is airtight but not too tight so the dough has room to expand. Put in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour. I usually leave mine on a chair near the oven.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Uncover the bread and sprinkle on some flour. Put the bread with the shortest edge facing you (or lengthwise) and, starting at the end furthest away from you, hold a pair of scissors so they are parallel to the bread, then tilt them so they are at a 45-degree angle. Make a large cut 4 inches away from the top of the dough, almost as if you were going to snip that bit off but it will still be attached, then take that piece and move it to the left. Make another snip about 4 inches down from the bottom of the last one and move that piece to the right. Keep on doing this until you reach the end of the bread.

Sprinkle the top with flour and salt. Spray some water into the oven to create a steamy atmosphere. I usually spray 8 to 10 squirts from a spray bottle, then put the dough into the oven. Bake until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap it on the bottom, about 25 minutes.
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