I probably should not have been surprised that very wet, unkneaded bread dough, when baked on a flat surface, likes to rise sideways, rather than up. Stupid gravity.
This blob-like dough resulted in a loaf of bread that looked like a beached jellyfish. Super tasty, though, and it looked pretty enough after it was sliced. Nice crust, and lots of it.
It was particularly delicious dipped in olive oil and herbs and with gazpacho.
(once again, adapted from Mark Bittman's no knead bread.)
3 c. bread flour
1/4 t. fast rise yeast
1-1/2 t. salt
1-1/2 c. water
Olive oil (for pan and top of loaf)
Cornmeal (for pan and top of loaf)
Mix dry ingredients in mixing bowl; stir in water until dough forms a ball. Cover with plastic wrap; let sit at room temperature overnight or until surface is dotted with bubbles.
Punch down (by stirring); let rest for 20 minutes. Oil a shallow baking sheet; I sprinkled mine with cornmeal so the crust would be crunchier and so it would stick even less.
Place dough on sheet; attempt to form a loaf; watch as it sinks into a puddle shaped blob. Drizzle oil and sprinkle cornmeal over top. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit for at least two hours, or until blob doubles in size and doesn't immediately spring back when poked.
Bake at 400 for 35-45 minutes.