Friday, February 25, 2011

European Peasant Bread

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!  Remember that line from the movie, "Annie?"  Well, that is how I feel about this new bread recipe!  Wayne loves that crusty outside and chewy inside of a good loaf of bread so I have been searching.  And I found this!!  Yummy!!  
I made a couple of small "tweaks" from the original recipe but it is oh, so good!  I even took pictures, but I don't know how to upload them from my phone....   :(  But, enjoy the bread!

European Peasant Bread

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tbsp instant yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
5 1/2 cups flour

Mix the salt and yeast with the water in a large bowl. mix in the remaining dry ingredients without kneading. The dough will be very wet. Cover with a towel and allow to rest at room temperature for about 2 hours.

At this point you can use the dough or refrigerate (it will keep for about 2 weeks). If you are going to make the bread right away, it’s still a good idea to refrigerate the dough for an hour or two so it is easier to handle.

Cut off a section of the dough (1/4 if you make enough for 4 loaves), and dust it with flour. Quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. allow to rest and rise on a cornmeal-covered baking sheet. While the dough is rising, heat the oven to 450 F and place an empty cake pan on the lowest rack in the oven. If you are baking on a baking stone, place it in the oven to heat up with the oven.

When the oven is ready and the dough has risen, sprinkle the loaf liberally with flour and make a few 1/4 inch deep slashes on the top using a serrated bread knife (a cross or tic-tac-toe pattern both work). Leave the flour on top of the loaf during baking.

Place the baking sheet into the oven (or slide the dough onto your baking stone). Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the cake pan, quickly close the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. The top should get a good hard crust and will be deeply browned. Allow to cool on a cooling rack and brush off excess flour from the top of the loaf before slicing.
Makes 4 small to medium loaves.

***I pretty much copied this directly as I found it.  I did not have any rye flour so I used wheat-1 c in all for the wheat flour.  
I also did not let it rest for an hour or two in the refrig.  If you flour your hands sufficiently, you will have no problems handling the dough.

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