This recipe was a surprise; it was simple and produced a beautiful, delicious loaf easy to cut. It went well with our soup or plain with butter and jam. The original recipe called for slashing the top which also works nicely.
Our recipe is adapted from English Bread and Yeast Cookery by Elizabeth David, Biscuit Books Inc., Newton, MA
- 3 cups unbleached flour (approximately), of which 3/4 cup may be whole wheat
- 2 teaspoons of salt (approximately)
- 1 teaspoon dry yeast
- A scant cup water
Mix the yeast to a cream with a little tepid water. Stir the salt into flour.
Mix the creamed yeast into it, add the tepid water. Mix well and shape the dough into a ball. If it is too wet, sprinkle with little more flour. Cover, and leave in a warm place to rise.
In an hour to an hour and a half the dough should have doubled volume and feel spongy and light. Scoop it up, and slap it down hard on a board. Repeat this three or four times. The more the dough is knocked down at this stage the better the loaf will be.
Knead and roll the dough into a ball, place this in the center of a floured baking sheet. At this stage fold the ball of dough all round, tucking the edges underneath, so that the uncooked loaf looks like a little, round, plump cushion. If this detail is omitted, the loaf will spread out flat. Shape the loaf.
It is advisable to cover the dough while it is rising for the second time and the easiest way to do this is to invert a clean bowl over it. Once risen, you may now make slashes on the loaf; one from side to side the other two crossing that one.
Cook in a 450° degree oven on center shelf for 15 minutes and then 400° for the next 15 minutes. If the bottom is not done, turn upside down and leave in the oven for 10-15 minutes more with the heat off.
We baked our Round Loaf in the outdoor bake oven, the temperature was roughly 425° throughout the baking. We did put it back in upside down for about 15 minutes.