In Honor of Our Ancestors Bread Recipe

From Dorothy McNett's Recipe Book.

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In Honor of Our Ancestors Bread

From Dorothy McNett's Recipe Book at www.dorothymcnett.com.

1 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105 degrees)
7 cups unbleached white bread flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups cool water
3/4 cups starter (my Mom called it sponge, Italians call it biga)
additional flour for work surface
olive oil for the bowl
cornmeal, for the peel

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Sift and measure the flour into a large bowl. Whisk in the salt. Make a well, and add the cool water, yeast mixture, and starter. Mix well and then dump out onto a floured work surface and begin the kneading process. Watch. It may take up to 20 minutes. Do not cut this short, or the bread will not have structure. After kneading, rub a large bowl with the olive oil and place the dough in the bowl, turning the ball so that the surface is coated with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hours. Punch down the dough. Recover and let rise a second time, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 2 parts. Shape into round loaves. Place the loaves on a peel which has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover the loaves and let rise about 40 minutes. Preheat oven, using baking stones, if desired, to 425 degrees. After the loaves have had about 40 minutes to rise, mist the preheated oven with a spray bottle of water. Slide the loaves onto the baking stone. Mist the oven again and bake the breads for 5 minutes. Mist one more time, and reduce the temperature to 400 degrees and bake about 40-50 minutes.

Recipe created 1994-10-04.

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