Basque sheepherder's bread

Yield: 1 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 packs ACTIVE DRY YEAST (or 2 scant TBS)
4¼ cup WATER (105- to 115-degrees)
1½ tablespoon SALT
½ cup GRANULATED SUGAR
9 cups BREAD FLOUR(to 11c), divided

Dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup of the water; set aside.

(Makes 1 HUGE round or 4 smaller loaves) To 4 cups of the water in a very large mixing bowl, add salt, sugar and 4 cups of the flour. Add the yeast mixture. Add enough flour to make a workable dough. Knead well, until the dough is soft and silky feeling, but no longer sticky (soft as a baby's bottom). I add "sprinkles" of flour towards the end, until it's no longer sticky.

Place dough into a LARGE greased bowl, turning to coat the top. Cover and place in a warm draft free place to rise until double.

Punch down, knead lightly and form into a round loaf. Place into a 4-½-quart Dutch oven.

Cover and place in a warm draft free place to rise until double in bulk.

Preheat oven to 425-degrees. Place one oven rack at the lowest position in the oven. If you don't the bread WILL hit the top of the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Reduce the heat to 350-degrees and continue baking for 50-60 minutes longer. Of course smaller loaves won't take as long, about 20-30 minutes or so. Loaves will sound hollow when you tap them with your finger when they're done.

Don't let the pre-baked size of the loaf fool you. The minute it hits that hot oven it BALLOONS to a HUGE loaf of bread.

Enjoy.

Linda/BDT Burbank, CA (USA) ( ( ) ) Internet address: linda.magee@... ) ( ) (aka BZ Baker) .....

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From: Linda.Magee@... Date: 06-11-94 Submitted By GAIL SHIPP On 03-05-95

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