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Rustic White Bread Recipe

This rustic white bread recipe is made from a sponge starter. By allowing the sponge starter to process itself overnight, you obtain a complex flavor in your bread that is missing from faster bread recipes.

Trivia: According to Wikipedia, bread appears in many cultures, but is prepared in a variety of different ways.

Tip #1: To convert these measurements to metric, please refer to this online Cooking Converter

Rustic White Bread Recipe

This peasant-type bread recipe makes two loaves.

Ingredients

Sponge Starter
1 teaspoon dry yeast
1 teaspoon of honey
1/2 cup of warm water
1/2 cup of milk that you have allowed to come to room temperature
1 cup all purpose-flour

Dough
1 cup water that you have allowed to reach room temperature
1 teaspoon of dry yeast
3-4 cups of all purpose-flour
1 tablespoon of salt

Directions

To prepare the sponge starter, proof the yeast by stirring it into the warm water along with the honey. Let this stand for about ten minutes.

When the yeast begins to froth, stir in the milk and flour. Beat this mixture until it is smooth. Cover and allow it to sit at room temperature until the starter becomes bubbly. This takes five or six hours at a minimum.

The mixture should rise up in the container and then fall down again. Once it has fallen, you can use it to make your bread.

Place the second amount of yeast in 1/4 cup of the room temperature water by letting it stand for about ten minutes. Add this frothy yeast mixture to the sponge starter, along with the rest of the lukewarm water.

Mix the dough well.

Mix together the flour and salt. Add this flour mixture to the wet dough about one cup at a time. Beat well between each cup that you add. When this dough is too stiff to mix, remove it to a floured kneading surface. Let is sit for five minutes then knead in more flour. Continue until the dough has become satiny -- about five or ten minutes of steady kneading.

Oil a bowl and place the dough in this bowl. Turn the dough over to allow the surface to coat with the oil. Cover and allow the bread dough to rise until it is twice the size. This takes about two hours.

Punch down your dough and divide it into two equal pieces. Place each ball into an oblong loaf or a round loaf. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the round or oblong shapes onto the baking sheet and sprinkle the tops with flour.

Let the rustic white bread dough rise again until it is twice the size. This should take about sixty minutes.

Slash each loaf a few times across the top, using a sharp knife. Do not slash hard enough that the dough falls.

Heat the oven to 400°F. Bake the bread until lightly brown and the loaves sound hollow on the bottom when you rap them with your fingers. This usually takes about three quarters of an hour.

Cool your rustic white bread on a wire rack, then eat and enjoy.



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