Preparation / Directions:
In a small measuring cup, mix the warm water and yeast with a fork to
dissolve the yeast. Let stand for 3 minutes.
Mix the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast
mixture and the cool water. Using your fingers, mix the dough into a
When all of the flour is incorporated, move the dough to a lightly
floured work surface and knead for 4 minutes. The dough should be
sticky and will not look smooth. If the dough feels stiff or dry,
knead in additional cool water, a tablespoon at a time.
Put the dough in a lightly floured bowl, cover, and let rest for 20
Return the dough to the lightly floured surface and knead it for 7 to
8 minutes. The dough will go from being sticky to smooth and will
become supple but not too firm.
Place the dough in a clean bowl lightly dusted with flour. Cover the
bowl with a towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature (75
to 77 degrees) for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until it doubles in volume. (An
indentation made by poking your finger deep into the dough should not
Place the dough on a very lightly floured surface. Gently deflate the
dough and pat it into a rectangle. The short sides should be the top
and bottom edges. Fold the top edge down and the bottom edge up,
overlapping them slightly, then turn the dough a quarter turn and fold
the top down and the bottom up again to form an envelope. Shape the
dough into a log shape by rolling the loaf down two to three times and
sealing the seam with the heel of your palm. Roll the loaf back and
forth on the table to smooth out.
Place the loaf seam side down in a lightly oiled 9 by 5 inch loaf pan.
Gently press down on the loaf to spread it to fill the corners of the
pan, and cover it with oiled plastic wrap.
Let the loaf rise at 75 degrees to 77 degrees for about 1 to 1 1/4
hours, or until it has doubled and risen about 1-inch above the edge
of the pan.
Meanwhile preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Gently place the loaf pan on the center rack of the oven. Using a
plant sprayer, quickly mist the loaf with water 6 to 8 times, then
shut the oven door. After 3 minutes, mist the loaf again.
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees
and bake for 30 minutes longer, or until the top is a deep golden
brown. Remove the loaf from the pan it should come out with ease. The
bread should sound slightly hollow when tapped on the bottom, and the
sides of the loaf should be brown. Immediately place the loaf from the
pan on a wire rack to cool. Serve slightly warm, with butter and lots
of homemade jam!