I hope this is where I should post it. If not, excuse the newbie, but this recipe has made me famous with friends and even the baker next door.
After I post it, I'd like your favourite bread recipe.
My Favourite Hearth Loaf
for the sponge:
1 cup bread flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour o
3/8 tsp quick or instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp honey (sometimes I add some molasses to darken it)
about 1 1/3 cups water, at room temperature
In a mixer bowl or other large bowl, combine these ingredients and whisk them for a couple of minutes to incorporate some air. It will be the consistency of a thick batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap.
1 3/4 cups + 2tbsp regular white flour
1/2 tsp quick or instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
Combine these ingredients and gently scoop them over the sponge mixture, covering the sponge mixture completely. Cover with plastic wrap, and allow it to stand for 1 - 4 hours at room temperature. The sponge will eventually bubble up through the flour and this is fine.
Mix the dough. I use my Kitchen Aid mixer for this because the dough is sticky. At this point I add my sunflower seeds and flax seeds (usually a half cup of each. Using the mixer I make sure I mix it well until it is in a ball form.
Knead the dough. I do this on speed 4 of my mixer for about 5 minutes. You can do it by hand, too, but why since I have the Kitchen Aid? The dough should be very elastic and slightly sticky to the touch. If it's sticking to the bottom of the mixer bowl add just a touch of flour.
Allow the dough to rise. Place it in a bowl that has been greased. Grease the top of the loaf and cover it with plastic wrap. Proof it till it's doubled in size.
Shape the dough, and let it rise again. Once more, you're looking for double the size. Preheat the oven at this time to 450F.
Score and bake. I sprinkle some flour on top, and I baked this on a baking sheet lined with parchement. Immediately after putting the bread in the oven, turn the heat down to 425F. The baking process should take about 25 minutes. I use a spray bottle and spray the inside of my oven so form a mist.
This gives the bread a nice crusty coating.
Remove from the oven and cool. Place on a rack.
Enjoy, share and enjoy the compliments.