The Perfect Loaf

The Perfect Loaf

Reference: The Perfect Loaf
Romertopf Recipes

Ingredients:    

1 cup warm water (105-­115 degrees F)

1 package active dry yeast ( 2 1/4 tsp)

1 tsp. sugar

1/4 TBL. salt

1 TBL. vegetable oil

3 cups all­purpose flour (approximately)    

Preparation:

Stir warm water, yeast and sugar in large mixer bowl.  Let stand 5-10 minutes or until foamy.  Add 2 cups flour, salt, and oil.  With mixer fitted with dough hook, mix on low until blended, then mix on medium speed for 5 minutes until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead, adding more flour as needed.  Knead about 10-15 minutes until dough is smooth and springy and small bubbles form just under the surface.  Place dough in greased bowl, turn to coat top.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.   Soak bottom (if unglazed) of Clay Baker in water for about 20 minutes.  Drain and pat dry.  Generously grease sides and bottom of clay baker.   When dough has doubled, punch down and shape into a loaf, place in clay baker.

Let stand, covered with plastic wrap or wax paper, for 30-­45 minutes or until dough nearly reaches the top of the cooker.   Soak top of clay baker for 15 minutes while dough rises the second time.  When dough has risen, use a sharp razor blade or knife to cut 2-­3 diagonal slashes across the top of dough (about 1/2" deep).  Drain lid of baker, pat dry and grease.  Place covered clay baker in cold oven, set oven temperature to 475 degrees Fahrenheit and bake 45 minutes.  Remove lid and continue to bake until top is brown, about 3-­5 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

  *adapted from Clay Cookery by The Editors of Consumer Guide

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