|3½ cup||Thinly sliced new potatoes|
|2 tablespoons||Yellow cornmeal|
|4 cups||Boiling water|
|1 teaspoon||Baking soda|
|8 cups||All-purpose flour|
|2 tablespoons||Olive oil|
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F. Place potatoes, 3 teaspoons salt, honey and cornmeal in a stainless steel bowl and cover with boiling water.
Cover with a cloth and let stand for about 15 hours. Maintain temperature at about 90F. Drain and discard the potatoes. Reserve the water. Place baking soda, remaining 2 teaspoons salt and 3 cups of flour in a mixer, turn to slow speed and add the potato water. Beat about 5 minutes. Scrape the "sponge" into a mixing bowl, cover with a damp cloth, place in a warm part of the kitchen and let rise until bubbles form, about 1½ hours. Meanwhile, combine milk and olive oil in a small saucepan, bring to a boil and immediately remove from the heat. Let cool to lukewarm. Replace the sponge in the mixing bowl, add the milk and slowly incorporate remaining 5 cups of flour.
Knead with a dough hook for 7 minutes. If dough seems too sticky, add up to ¾ cup additional flour. Divide dough in 3 and place in greased loaf pans. Cover with a damp towel, place in a warm spot and let rise until doubled in volume. Bake for about 1 hour. Makes 3 Loaves
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