This a relatively quick yeast bread (about an hour and 15 minutes start to
finish) with a very nice taste and texture.
5-6 c. all-purpose flour (note 1)
2 T. dry yeast (yes, that's 2 tablespoons. Really.)
2 T. sugar
1 T. salt (note 2)
2 c. hot water (not boiling, just from the tap)
1 T. sesame or poppy seeds or oats
Mix 4 cups of the flour with the yeast, sugar, and salt. Pour in hot water
and beat 100 strokes, or 3 minutes with a mixer. Stir in the remaining
flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Knead 8 minutes. Place the
dough in a greased bowl and cover with damp towel. Let rise 15 minutes.
Punch down. Divide into 2 pieces, shape into 2 round loaves and place on
baking sheet. Cut an X 1/2 inch deep on top with sharp knife. Brush with
water and sprinkle with seeds or oats. Place on the middle shelf of a cold
oven. Place a cake pan of hot water on the lowest shelf. Heat the oven to
400 degrees. Bake 40-50 minutes until deep golden brown.
1. Variations: I always substitute whole wheat flour for at least half of
the all-purpose flour, and I usually substitute 1/2 cup oatmeal for
1/2 cup of flour.
2. You can reduce the amount if this is too much salt for you, but
you need to leave some--it regulates the growth of the yeast.
Debbie in Iowa City