Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 1/2 plus 2 cups warm (about 100-110F) water

  2. 7 cups of flour

  3. in a pinch)

  4. 1 tablespoon salt

  5. 2 packages active dry yeast

  6. Directions

  7. 1. Empty yeast into 1/2c. warm water and stir to dissolve the yeast.

  8. The water must be warm but not too warm, as this will kill the yeast.

  9. Let the mixture stand briefly. Some bubbles should be noted, indicating

  10. that the yeast is good.

  11. 2. Add to the yeast mixture 2 additional cups of water and 1 tablespoon

  12. salt and 2 cups of flour. Stir into a relatively smooth batter.

  13. 3. Add to the mixture 4 additional cups of flour and stir until it

  14. becomes very difficult to stir the mixture. Turn out the dough onto a

  15. clean, floured surface.

  16. 4. Knead the dough until it is free of lumps, rather elastic, and almost satiny in appearance. During this process, it will be necessary

  17. to add more flour, perhaps 1 or 1 1/2 cups or a bit more, depending on how

  18. damp the flour is. Enough flour has been added when the dough has only

  19. a hint or almost no stickiness. Too much flour will make the bread

  20. rather tough. Form the dough into a ball and place in a clean, lightly

  21. oiled bowl. Turn the dough over to oil all surfaces. Place a damp

  22. towel over the bowl.

  23. 5. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour

  24. 15 minutes to

  25. 1 hour and 30 minutes. After rising, punch down the

  26. dough and return to bowl and recover.

  27. 6. Allow dough to rise until again doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down

  28. dough and divide into two equal pieces. Form each piece into a long,

  29. thin loaf (this recipe makes two quite large loaves, or you can divide

  30. the dough into more pieces and make small baguettes, suitable for sandwiches). I find that it is easiest to form the loaves by taking a

  31. piece of dough in both hands and stretching it out by pulling and slapping the dough against the work surface. The dough will be quite

  32. elastic - you need to be assertive with it when forming loaves. Place

  33. the loaves upside down on a baking sheet or a stone. Some people say to

  34. grease the baking sheet or cover it with cornmeal, but I have found that

  35. the lubrication is not needed and that the cornmeal tends to burn.

  36. 7. Place a damp towel over the loaves and let them rise for perhaps 20

  37. minutes, until almost doubled. While the loaves are rising, preheat the

  38. oven to 375F. I find that it is handy to use an oven thermometer, as

  39. ovens vary substantially in temperature.

  40. 8. After rising, place the loaves into the oven. The loaves need to

  41. 40 minutes. During the first

  42. 20 minutes, spraying the

  43. loaves with water (from a plant mister, for instance) every few minutes

  44. will improve the quality of the crust.

  45. 9. Remove loaves from oven. Turn the loaves over and rap the bottoms

  46. gently. They should sound rather hollow. If not, they are probably

  47. underdone and should be baked a bit longer. Enjoy this bread soon after

  48. baking (the same day, preferably) as it goes stale rather quickly. Note

  49. that, once it is stale, it still makes great garlic bread.


Send feedback