A traditional bread with a firm crisp crust surrounding a closed crumb structure, the artisanal loaf produces a soft slice that will hold up to any topping.
Hands-on Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Makes: 2 loaves
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 cup warm water (100° to 110 °f) water, divided
1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast
2 tbsp honey
4 ½ cups Simply Milled™ Organic or Traditional All-Purpose Flour (approx.)
1 ¼ tsp salt
1. Dissolve sugar in ¼ cup of the water. Sprinkle yeast over top; let stand for about 10 minutes or until foamy. Whisk in remaining water and honey.
2. Stir in 3 cups flour and salt to make sticky dough. Turn out onto generously floured surface (use remaining flour). Knead dough for about 10 minutes, adding enough of the remaining flour to make smooth, not sticky, dough. Shape into smooth ball. Cover and let stand for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
3. Preheat oven to 400°f. Punch dough down and divide in half; shape each half into ball. Place each on parchment paper–lined large baking sheet. Cover loaves with tea towel; let rise for 1 hour. Dust tops with flour.
4. Slash top in crisscross pattern, using straight razor blade or sharp knife, about ¼-inch deep and 3 or 4 inches across the top.
5. Bake in center of oven for 20 minutes; reduce heat to 375°f and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until center sounds hollow when tapped and crust is golden. Let cool on rack.
• If you own a pizza stone, preheat oven with stone inside and transfer parchment paper with loaves onto hot pizza stone.
• To help loaf form a crisp crust, just before placing loaves into the oven, spray bottom of oven (avoiding light bulbs) with spray bottle. Place loaves in oven and close door immediately.