Classic country-style hearth loaf part 2
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Classic country-style hearth loaf part 2
Last updated 6/12/2012 1:16:47 AM. Recipe ID 46829. Report a problem with this recipe.
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      Title: Classic country-style hearth loaf part 2
 Categories: Polkadot, Faylen, Bread:yeast
      Yield: 1 Loaf
           Part Two
  If the dough doesn't respond in any of these ways, continue kneading
  for 5 minutes, adding a little more flour if you need to, until the
  dough is resilient and has spring.
  The 15-17 minute rule is important.  If the dough is underkneaded, the
  gluten will not be developed enough  to allow the dough to rise during
  fermentation.  Don't skimp on kneading time.  Set a timer if it helps.
  Ferment the dough:  Shape the dough into a ball and let it rest on a
  lightly floured surface while you scrape and clean and lightly oil the
  large bowl.  Place about 1 Tbsp vegetable shortening or softened
  butter or 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in the bowl.  Use a pastry
  brush or paper towel to lightly oil the inside of the bowl.  The
  solid fats are preferable, as the dough will evemtually soak up the
  oil, but either can be used.  Place the dough in the bowl and turn
  the dough to coat the top with oil.
  Cover with a clean damp towel and place in a moderately warm draft
  free place until doubled in volume.  (2-3 hours)  The dough has risen
  enough when a finger, pressed 1/2 inch into the dough leaves an
  Rest the dough:  Deflate the dough by pushing down in the center and
  pulling up on the sides.  Form again into a ball, return to the bowl,
  and cover again with plastic wrap or a clean damp towel.  Let rest in
  a moderately warm draft-free place for 30 minutes.
  Divide and shape the dough into loaves:  Deflate the dough, transfer
  to a lightly floured work surface, and knead briefly.  Cut into 2
  equal pieces. Flatten each with the heel of your hand using firm
  direct strokes. This releases any remaining gas and invigorates the
  yeast in the dough. Shape each piece into a tight ball for round
  Proof the loaves:  Line two bowls or baskets about 8 inches in
  diameter and 3 inches deep with well-floured lint free towels that
  have been well-dusted with flour.   (My note:  colanders work well
  for this if you're short on baskets!)  Place the loaves smooth side
  down in each bowl. Dust top side with flour.  Cover with a clean damp
  towel or plastic wrap and put in a moderately warm draft-free place
  until increased in volume about 1 1/2 times (1 1/2 to 2 hours.)
  Bake the loaves:  Forty-five minutes to 1 hour before baking, preheat
  the oven and baking stones to 450 degrees.
  The oven rack must be in the center of the oven.  If it is in the
  lower third of the oven, the bottoms of the breads may burn, and if
  it is in the top third, the top crusts my burn.
  Gently invert the loaves from the baskets or bowls onto a floured
  board or peel so that they are right side up.  Using a very sharp,
  serrated knife or a single-edged razor blade, score the loaves by
  making quick, shallow cuts 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep along the surface.
  Using a well-floured peel, slide the loaves one at a time onto the
  hearth and quickly spray the inner walls and floor of the oven with
  cold water from a spritzer bottle.  If there's an electric light bulb
  in the oven, avoid spraying it directly; it may burst.  Spray for
  several seconds until steam has filled the oven.  Quickly close the
  door to trap the steam and bake 3 minutes.  Spray again in the same
  way, closing the door immediately so that steam doesn't escape, and
  bake until the loaves begin to color, about 20 minutes.  Reduce heat
  to 400 degrees and bake until the loaves are a rich caramel color and
  the crust is firm, another 15-20 minutes.
  To test the loaves for doneness, remove and hold the loaves upside
  down. Strike the bottom firmly with your finger.  If the sound is
  hollow, the breads are done.  If it doesn't sound hollow, bake 5
  minutes longer, and test again.
  Cooling and storage:  It is important to allow large loaves to cool at
  least 20 minutes because they actually finish baking as they cool  If
  you were to tear or cut into a large loaf too soon, you'd find the
  center still doughy.  Cool them on a rack so that air can circulate
  freely around the loaf.  If you place them on a flat surface to cool,
  the bottom crust will become soggy.
  Notes from the Chef: "Here's the other from the same book. It's
  super, too, and takes only two days instead of five (I liked it when
  the first rising was overnight in the fridge.)" - Faylen

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Recipe ID 46829 (Apr 03, 2005)

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