Peasant Bread Made with Sponge
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees F)
- 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour
- 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon warm water (about 110 degrees F)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 cup Bread Sponge, pulled into small pieces
- 6 cups bread flour
- 1/2 cup white, light or medium rye flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Bread Sponge: In electric mixer, combine 1/4 cup water and yeast. Let stand until yeast is creamy, about 10 minutes. Add remaining water and flour, mixing on low speed for 2 minutes. It will be the consistency of a wet dough.
- Place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 24
hours. (If refrigerated or frozen, bring to room temperature before using).
- The sponge can be refrigerated for one week or frozen for up to three months.
- Peasant Bread: Heat oven to 450 degrees F.
- With electric mixer, combine 1/4 cup water and yeast. Let stand until yeast is
creamy, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup more water and sponge. Mix on low speed using paddle attachment about 2 minutes.
- Add flours, salt and remaining water. Mix 1 minute longer.
- Using dough hook, mix on medium low speed, pulling dough from hook two or three
times, until dough is soft and sticks to fingers when squeezed, about 8 minutes Or knead by hand, 15 to 20 minutes.
- On a floured work surface, knead dough into a ball by hand, four or five turns.
Place smooth side up in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until tripled in bulk, about 3 hours.
- Turn dough onto floured surface. Flour top and cut in half. Roll up one piece
of dough lengthwise, flatten slightly and roll lengthwise again.
- On an unfloured surface, cup your hands around the sides of the dough and move
it in small, circular motions, until top of dough is rounded and bottom is smooth.
- Flour a piece of parchment and place dough on it and cover loosely with oiled
plastic wrap, then cover with a towel. Repeat process with second piece of dough.
- Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 50 minutes.
- Thirty minutes before this final rise is completed, place a baking stone or baking
sheet in the oven and an empty baking pan on the lowest shelf and heat oven.
- Sprinkle dough with flour and dimple the surface with your fingertips and let
rise 10 minutes more.
- Using a baker's peel or baking sheet, slide loaves and parchment onto the
baking stone or baking sheet. Pour 2 cups very hot water into the heated baking pan to create steam.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until dark golden brown and hollow sounding when
tapped on the bottom.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
Yield: 2 loaves; 3 1/2 cups sponge
Posted by bettyboop50 at Recipe Goldmine May 9, 2001.