Spanish Country Bread Jun 28, 2009 0:49:31 GMT -6
Post by Sylvia on Jun 28, 2009 0:49:31 GMT -6
This bread takes a lot of preparation, but if you are a real bread connoisseur, you will find it well worth while. If you are new to bread making, start off with an easier, less time consuming recipe.
Spanish Country Bread
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 pkg dry yeast
3 1/4 cups bread flour or unbleached, all-purpose flour
3 tsps salt
cornmeal or bread crumbs for sprinkling
(optional) 1 egg white for brushing
In a small cup, mix 1/4 cup of the warm water with the yeast. While this mixture sits, mix the flour an salt in a large bowl. Add the softened yeast and the remaining cup of warm water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then turn out onto a working surface and knead for a few minutes, adding a little more flour if necessary until the dough holds together well. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn to coat with the oil, cover with a towel and place in a warm, draft-free spot for about 3 hours, or until double in size.
Punch down the dough and knead for a few minutes. Divide into 2 equal parts. Roll each piece into an oblong about 5x20" inches. Starting with a long side, roll up tightly, jelly-roll fashion. Pinch to seal the seam and the ends. Place the loaves, seam side down, on a cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal or bread crumbs. Slit the tops in several places, diagonally, with a sharp knife. Cover with a towel and place in a warm spot, again, for 1 hour, or until double in size.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Bake the bread on the middle-upper rack for 20 minutes. If you want a gloss to your crust, mix an egg white in a small bowl with 1 tsp water. After baking 10 minutes, brush the egg mixture on the bread and continue baking for another 10 minutes