Monday, January 18, 2010
2 1/4 - 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (if you don't have this you can use all white)
1 t salt
1 packet (1 T) yeast
1 cup warm water
1 egg white
1 T water
1. Oil your largest baking sheet. In a small bowl, soften the yeast in the 1 cup warm water; let sit 5 minutes. Mix together the 2 1/4 cup white flour with the wheat flour and the salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the yeast mixture in. Using a wooden spoon, mix the dough into a rough sticky ball.
2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, incorporating up to 1/4 cup more flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and brush surface of dough with oil. Cover tightly and set in warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled.
3. Punch down dough and then turn onto lightly floured surface. Knead one minute, then roll or flatten dough into an 18"x7" rectangle. Roll up firmly into a long sausage shape. Taper the ends, then place diagonally on your prepared baking sheet. Cover tightly and set aside in a warm place for about 40 minutes, or until well-risen.
4. Preheat oven to 425F. Pour 2 cups of water into a shallow baking dish (like a pie tin) and place on the lowest rack in the oven. This helps make the crust of the bread. Combine the egg white and 1 T water, then brush gently over the loaf. Slash the loaf diagonally with a sharp knife at regular intervals about 2 inches apart. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350F, re-brush the loaf with the egg wash, and bake for another 15 minutes.
5. Remove from sheet and cool on a wire rack. Best if eaten same day.