Thursday, February 14, 2008

the perfect loaf of bread

baking the perfect
loaf of bread at home________________________________

Formula and process created by
Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan St Bakery.
3 cups (430g) flour
1½ cups (345g or 12oz) water
¼ teaspoon (1g) yeast
1¼ teaspoon (8g) salt
olive oil (for coating)
extra flour, wheat bran, or cornmeal (for dusting)

Two medium mixing bowls
6 to 8 quart pot with lid
(Pyrex glass, Le Creuset cast iron, or ceramic)
Wooden Spoon or spatula (optional)
Plastic wrap
Two or three cotton dish towels (not terrycloth)

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add water and
incorporate by hand or with a wooden spoon or spatula for 30 seconds
to 1 minute. Lightly coat the inside of a second medium bowl with
olive oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic
wrap and let the dough rest 12 hours at room temperature (approx.

Remove the dough from the bowl and fold once or twice. Let the dough
rest 15 minutes in the bowl or on the work surface. next, shape the
dough into ball. Generously coat a cotton towel with flour, wheat
bran, or cornmeal; place the dough seam side down on the towel and
dust with flour. Cover the dough with a cotton towel and let rise 1-2
hours at room temperature, until more than doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 450-500°F. Place the pot in the oven at least 30
minutes prior to baking to preheat. Once the dough has more than
doubled in volume, remove the pot from the oven and place the dough in
the pot seam side up. Cover with the lid and bake 30 minutes Then
remove the lid and bake 15-30 minutes uncovered, until the loaf is
nicely browned.

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