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1 Envelope dry yeast
3 c Warm water (105 F to 115 F)
8 c (about) unbleached
1 tb Salt
1 Egg white beaten with 1 Tbs
Soak a brick in water overnight, then drain it and put it in the oven
with the bread to create steam. This gives the loaves a firm crust.
Makes 12 small loaves
Soak brick in water overnight.
Sprinkle yeast onto 1/4 cup warm water in bowl of electric meixer
fitted with a dough hook; stir to dissolve. Let stand 5 minutes. Add
remaining water, 4 cups flour and salt and beat until smooth. Beat in
remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until slightly sticky dough forms.
Mix until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Turn dough out onto
lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and no longer sticky,
adding more flour if necessary, about 3 minutes. (Dough can also be
mixed and kneaded by hand.) Grease large bowl and add dough, turning
to coat surface. Cover with damp towel. Let rise at room temperature
Punch dough down and knead on lightly floured surface until smooth,
about 2 minutes. Return to greased bowl, turning to coat entire
surface. Cover with damp towel and let rise in warm draft-free area
until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
Grease baking sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal. Punchy dough down and
knead on lightly floured surface until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Divide into 12 pieces. Pat each into 4×7-inch rectangle. Roll up
jelly roll fashion, starting at one long side. Pinch seams to seal.
Arrange seam side down on prepared sheets, spacing 3 inches apart.
Let rise until almost doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 475 F. Remove brick from water and place in oven.
Make 3 diagonal slashes in loaves. Brush with egg glaze. Bake 10
minutes. Reduce oven to 350 F and continue baking until loaves sound
hollow when tapped on bottom, about 35 minutes. Cool on racks before