Rustic Bread is one of the 3 recipes that we MellowBakers are baking this month of April, 2010. The other 2 are Bagels, and Light Rye Bread.
Jeffrey Hamelman's Rustic Bread recipe is a fairly easy bread to make although it takes 2 days. The first day is for the preferment which is making a stiff dough with flour, water, salt, and a small amount of commercial yeast, leaving it on the kitchen counter for 12 to 16 hours. The next day is pretty much the same, mix bread flour, a little whole rye and whole wheat flour with water, salt, yeast, and the preferment. Bulk fermentation is 2½ hours with two folds after every 50 minutes, then the dough is divided and shaped into rounds [I shaped mine into fat batards] and made to rise for 1½ hours then off they go in a 450°F steamy oven . Easy peasy.
The bread is soft, chewy, and flavorful and I like it even more the next day, but not after that. Well, they didn't last beyond 3 days so no problem there. This could be a regular bread in my house. It's good for sandwiches or dipping into soups or stews.
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