Round and Rustic "Slow" Bread

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Classic homemade bread.


  • 2 14 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 12 cup water (warmed to 105-115F)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 34 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 12 cups water (warmed to 105-115F)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3 12 cups all-purpose flour


To prepare the starter: in a medium mixing bowl, combine the yeast and water. Whisk to dissolve. Add the honey and flour, and beat with a wooden spoon until thick batter forms. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside in a draft free spot for 12 to 48 hours. The longer it sits, the more probiotics develop, giving the bread a greater "tang."

To prepare the dough: scrape the starter into a large mixing bowl. Add the water, whole wheat flour, and sea salt. Beat with a wooden spoon to form a batter. Adding about 1/2 cup at a time, incorporate 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, mixing well after each addition.

Measure and set aside the remaining 1 cup of flour. Dust your work surface with 1 tablespoon of the flour and pour the rest in a mound alongside your work space. Turn the dough out onto the work surface. Clean out the bowl with a plastic dough scraper. Rub hands and scraper with flour to clean off remaining dough. Lightly dust the dough with a little of the remaining flour. Using the dough scraper, turn the dough over on itself until its outer surface is no longer sticky.

Knead the dough, dusting the work surface as necessary, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the dough is springy. All of the flour may not be needed. Coat a large mixing bowl with olive oil. Shape the dough into a ball, and place in the bowl. Lightly massage dough with a bit of oil. Cover with plastic wrap; set aside to rise at room temperature for about 1 hour, or until doubled.

Spread 3 tablespoons of cornmeal on a large baking sheet. Punch down the dough. Divide in half with a sharp knife. Allow to sit for 10-20 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, use lightly floured palms to fold and tuck under each dough half into a large round loaf (oodles of practice). Place the loaves on the prepared baking sheet. Dust the loaves with flour (or roll in sesame seeds). Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Bake the loaves for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they are well-browned and an instant-reading thermometer registers 200°F in the center of each loaf. Remove to a rack to cool.

Serving Suggestions

Spread with room temperature Organic Valley Salted Butter or Earth Day Pate, or dunk daintily into soup.

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