Submitted by: admin on April 2, 2020

Makes 2 Loaves


1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1⁄8 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1⁄2 cup water, room temperature
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1-1⁄2 teaspoons salt
1⁄2 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
3⁄4 cup water, room temperature
1⁄4 cup milk, room temperature


  1. FOR THE SPONGE: Combine flour, yeast, and water in medium bowl and stir with wooden spoon until uniform mass forms, about 1 minute. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
  2. FOR THE DOUGH: Place sponge and dough ingredients in bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until roughly combined and shaggy dough forms, about 1 minute, scraping down bowl and paddle as needed. Increase speed to medium-low and continue mixing until dough becomes uniform mass that collects on paddle and pulls away from sides of bowl, 4 to 6 minutes. Change to dough hook and knead bread on medium speed until smooth and shiny (dough will be very sticky), about 10 minutes, scraping down bowl and dough hook as needed. Transfer dough to large bowl, cover tightly with plastic, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (Dough should barely spring back when poked with knuckle.)
  3. Spray rubber spatula or bowl scraper with vegetable oil spray. Fold partially risen dough over itself by gently lifting and folding edge of dough toward middle. Turn bowl 90 degrees; fold again. Turn bowl and fold dough 6 more times (for total of 8 turns). Cover with plastic and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat folding, replace plastic, and let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes longer.
  4. One hour before baking, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, place baking stone on rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut two 12 by 6-inch pieces of parchment paper and dust liberally with flour. Transfer dough to floured counter, being careful not to deflate it completely. Liberally flour top of dough and divide in half with bench scraper. Turn 1 piece of dough cut side up and dust with flour. With well-floured hands, press dough into rough 12 by 6-inch rectangle. Fold shorter sides of dough toward center, overlapping them like business letter to form 7 by 4-inch loaf. Repeat with second piece of dough. Gently transfer each loaf, seam side down, to parchment sheets, dust with flour, and cover with plastic. Let loaves sit at room temperature for 30 minutes (surface of loaves will develop small bubbles).
  5. Slide parchment with loaves onto pizza peel. Using floured fingertips, evenly poke entire surface of each loaf to form 10 by 6-inch rectangle; spray loaves lightly with water. Slide parchment with loaves onto baking stone. Bake, spraying loaves with water twice more during first 5 minutes of baking time, until crust is deep golden brown and loaves register 210 degrees, 22 to 27 minutes. Transfer loaves to wire rack, discard parchment, and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour, before slicing and serving. (Bread can be wrapped in double layer of plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. Wrapped with additional layer of aluminum foil, bread can be frozen for up to 1 month. To recrisp crust, thaw bread at room temperature, if frozen, and place unwrapped bread in 450-degree oven for 6 to 8 minutes.)

After pressing dough into rough 12 by 6-inch shape, grasp 1 end of dough with 1 hand and other end with bench scraper. Fold shorter sides of dough toward center, overlapping them like business letter to form 7 by 4-inch loaf.


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