Rustic Italian Bread

I ran across a four ingredient, no knead, no stretch and fold, Italian bread. I am on my third bake of this bread, each with minor tweaks.

Version 1 was as presented. Version 2 was as presented but baked in a Dutch oven (my preferred baking method.) Version 3 included Cake and Bread Enhancer (fifth ingredient) and was baked flat on a baking stone.

Version 1 was excellent. Version 2 was excellent. Version 3 was excellent. All three had great, crispy crusts and a soft tender crumb on the inside.

My current favorite is (was) my high hydration honey no-knead bread, but this may be my new go to. It’s even easier than the honey no-knead. Simply mix everything together the let it ferment for 2 hours. Gently pour out, (I do mean pour, it is high hydration, slack and sticky,) minimally shape and bake. All done!

My goal is to create larger holes in the bread. Version 2 (center) and 3 (right) were the best. I overworked the fermented dough a little too much in Version 1. Try, try, and try again!

Rustic Italian Bread

INGREDIENTS
• 380 g AP flour + more for dusting
• 20 g (3 Tbl) Bread Enhancer
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 350 g warm water
• 2 tsp active dry yeast

METHOD

  1. Add the flour, enhancer, salt and yeast to your stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment to mix and combine so no dry patches remain.
  2. Add the warm water and mix until everything is incorporated and a soft, wet dough forms. It will be a slack, sticky dough.
  3. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic and let the dough rise at room temperature (See tip below) for 2 to 3 hours or until doubled in size.
  4. Dust your kitchen counter with flour and scrape the very sticky dough out with a bowl scraper.
  5. With floured hands shape the dough into a ball (or batard,) deflating it as little as possible.
  6. Line a banneton with parchment paper. (See tip below)
  7. Place the ball of dough in the lined banneton smooth side up and let it rest while your oven heats up.
  8. Use a sharp knife or lame to lightly slash an X in the top of the loaf.
  9. Preheat your oven to 450 F with a dutch oven inside for about 45 minutes before baking the bread. Fill an oven proof bowl with 2 inches of water and place it on the bottom rack.
  10. Once hot, carefully transfer the bread loaf into the dutch oven using the parchment paper.
  11. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake another 5 minutes until golden brown on top. The internal temperature should be 205 F
  12. Remove the bread from the dutch oven and transfer to a cooling rack or it won’t stay crispy.

TIPS

  1. Lining a round banneton: Crumple parchment paper starting from the edges. You should end up with a ball which will smooth out to fill the round banneton
  2. Room temperature proofing: I like to put the bowl in an “off” oven with the light on. In the winter my kitchen tends to be cool (62-65 F) My “off” oven with the light on is 78o F.

From King Arthur Baking’s Cake and Bread Enhancer: A “miracle” ingredient for your cakes!

(From KAB) Our bakers have called this the “miracle” ingredient for many reasons: it makes cakes and other baked goods softer, moister, and helps them stay fresher longer. Our blend contains vegetable fats that act as emulsifiers, allowing the fats and liquids in your favorite recipe to combine more easily. The enhancer also acts as a stabilizer and texture enhancer. Cake enhancers are commonly used in professional bakeries to keep breads fresh and soft, and help cakes stay light and fluffy. It’s especially great for making soft sandwich loaves.

Dede’s Bakery President’s Day Continued

While I was waiting for other items to mix/chill/rise/etc I made a few other items this morning.

We were nearly out of bread (amazing.) I made a loaf of my honey high-hydration no-knead bread. This may be the prettiest loaf I have made. The slashes on top were well defined and kept the bread from blowing out anywhere else.

Oh, by the way, there are three-berry scones in the background. I like to freeze them, then on golf days take them from the freezer and snack on them on the course. They don’t seem to help my game, but do make it more enjoyable.

This time, I made the scones bigger than usual. I used some frozen berries we had (ever frugal) and had trouble incorporating them into the dough. They ended up being delicious!

I Needed No Kneaded Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I saw a picture of a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread online and that was it. I knew I would make it. It’s an enriched bread dough, stretched into a long rectangle, filled, and rolled up to make a swirl. It doesn’t require kneading, which is nice, although my Kitchen-aid mixer doesn’t really mind.

A few things I discovered as making the bread. When rolled out, stretch the rectangle to at least 18” and better if you can make it 10” x 22”. The longer the rectangle, and thinner the dough, the more rolls there will be and the better the cinnamon/sugar filling will be distributed.

If you have spring back when stretching the dough let it rest 5-10 minutes. The gluten is trying to contract and letting it rest will help. Other than that, the recipe is pretty accurate. BTW: it is delicious.

No Knead Cinnamon Bread

Makes 2 loaves
INGREDIENTS

DOUGH
• 6 cups (768g) unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• ¼ cup (55g) granulated sugar
• 2½ teaspoons instant yeast
• 1½ cups (340g) buttermilk or milk
• 1 cup (236g) water
• 6 tablespoons (¾ stick, or 86g)) unsalted butter, melted
• Baking spray with flour
FILLING
• ¼ cup (32g) flour, for dusting the counter + 4 tsp to stabilize filling
• ½ cup (110g) granulated sugar
• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
• 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
• (Optional raisins, diced to less than ¼”)

METHOD
DOUGH:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar and instant yeast.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk and water. Stir to combine, then heat to 100 -110F.
  3. Add the milk and water mixture then the melted butter. Mix until the liquid is absorbed and the mixture forms a sticky dough ball. (I added an additional ¼ c flour before it formed a good shaggy ball.)
  4. Cover and set aside in a warm spot to rise until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 1½ hours.
  5. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 375°F. Grease two 8.5-by-4.5-inch loaf pans generously with the softened butter.
  6. Release the dough from the sides of the bowl and pull it toward the center, then tip out onto a lightly floured bench. Gently deflate the dough and form into a rough ball.

ASSEMBLE THE BREAD:

  1. Separate the dough into two equal pieces. Using as much flour as necessary, dust your hands and the exterior of the dough, and shape each half into a ball. Let the dough balls rest, covered for 20 minutes without touching.
  2. Transfer one round to the clean, flour dusted bench and gently stretch the dough into a rough 9×20-inch rectangle. (The thinner the rectangle, the more swirls and better distribution of the filling.) If the dough springs back while stretching, let it rest 5 minutes, covered.( In a small bowl, mix 4 tsp AP flour, the sugar and the cinnamon. Brush the dough with the egg wash. Use a small sieve and evenly distribute the filling over the dough with half of the flour-cinnamon-sugar mix, saving the other half for the other dough ball. (Optional: thoroughly mix and coat diced raisins, no more than ¼” in size, into the mix.)
  3. Beginning with one short end, roll it tightly into a coil and place it in a sprayed loaf pan. Repeat with the remaining round. Do not cover the pans. Let the coils rise on the countertop near the oven (or another warm, draft-free spot) until the top of the dough just crowns the rim of the pans, about 10 minutes. (It took mine 20+ minutes in the proofing drawer)
  4. Transfer the pans to the oven and bake until the tops are golden brown and firm to the touch, 40 to 45 minutes. Check the loaves after 20 minutes. The tops were browning and the internal temperature was only 135F. I tented each loaf with aluminum foil and set the timer for an additional 10 minutes. Check every 10 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 185F.
  5. Remove the loaves from the oven, turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool on their sides for 20 minutes before slicing.

NOTES:
According to KAF adding flour to the cinnamon/sugar mix and assuring any added fruit chunks are less than ¼” diameter, will reduce the gaps between the rolls of dough.

Becoming the Scarlet Pumpernickel

Last week I made a light right sandwich rye. Good crumb, great taste, nice crust. Today I kicked up the percent pumpernickel flour and reduced the light rye flour. I added an egg wash to increase the color of the crust. Better taste, similar crumb and great crust!

Along with the rye experiment, I made another loaf of Honey White bread which has become our staple. I also made some raspberry scones and blackberry hand pies. Busy morning!

Light Rye Bread – KAF (with additional Pumpernickel)


INGREDIENTS
• 1 ½ cups (340g) lukewarm water
• 2 1/3 cups (280g) Bread Flour
• 1 cups (108g) light rye flour
• ½ cups (54g) pumpernickel flour
• 1/4 cup (28g) nonfat dry milk
• 1 ½ teaspoons table salt
• 1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
• 1 ½ teaspoons Deli Rye Flavor, optional
• 2 tablespoons (25g) vegetable oil
METHOD

  1. Place the water in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Combine the flours with the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix until there are no dry spots. Using a stand mixer, mix at low speed until all of
    the flour is moistened. The texture of the dough will be soft and sticky due to the pumpernickel flour.
  3. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours. Then refrigerate overnight, or for up to 48 hours.
  4. To bake bread: Grease your hands, and scoop the dough out onto a lightly greased or floured work surface. Shape it into a ball and place it, smooth side down, in a floured brotform; or in a bowl lined with a floured smooth cotton dish towel. Let the dough rise, covered, for 2 to 3 hours.
  5. About 45 minutes before the end of the rising time, start preheating the oven to 450°F with a 4 to 4 ½ -quart baking pot or casserole with a lid inside.
  6. When the loaf is fully risen, remove the hot casserole from the oven, carefully grease it, and tip the risen ball of dough into it. Make several slashes in the dough. Cover the pot with the lid, and place it on a middle rack in the oven.
  7. Bake the bread for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes; the loaf should be lightly browned, and the interior should register at least 195°F on a digital thermometer.
  8. Remove the bread from the oven and turn it out of the crock onto a rack. Cool for several hours before slicing

Feeling My Oats This Morning

A couple of days ago we were discussing variations of the breads I bake. While not a fan of nut breads, different grains, such as todays selection of oats, are great.

This recipe creates a very slack dough. Rather than shape it, you basically pour it between containers. (I whine about that and explained how I handled this problem in the body of the recipe below. ) I need to devise a ‘sling’ to move it from the second rise to the Dutch Oven.

Despite the challenges in the method of this bread, it is among the best I made during this challenging year. Great crumb, crust and flavor. Next time, I am going to use more flour and fold and shape as I do with the high hydration honey bread. Stay tuned.

Honey Oat No Knead Artisan Bread

https://thebusybaker.ca/no-knead-honey-oat-artisan-bread/

INGREDIENTS
• 469g (3 ¾) cups all purpose flour
• 81g (1 cup) oats
• 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast instant or rapid rise yeast also works
• 1½ teaspoons salt
• 85g ( ¼ cup) honey
• 474g (2 cups) warm water just above room temperature
• more flour for shaping the loaf

METHOD

  1. Stir together the flour and oats in the bowl.
  2. Add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other side.
  3. Stir the yeast into the flour on its side of the bowl first and then stir the salt into the flour on its side of the bowl, then give the whole mixture a few good stirs to make sure everything is combined.
  4. In a small bowl, add the honey to the water and stir to combine.
  5. Pour the honey/water mixture in and stir. The dough will be rough and a bit sticky, but that’s normal.
  6. Stir until all the flour is moistened. This is not normal bread dough (there’s no kneading involved in this recipe.) Make sure the ingredients are combined well.
  7. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. It’s a good idea to ensure there’s adequate space left in the bowl for the dough to at least double in size. Place the bowl in a warm, draft-free place and let it rise for about 1½ hours.
  8. After the dough has risen, preheat your oven to 425 deg F. (If your Dutch Oven is light colored heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.) Place your Dutch oven with the lid on in the cold oven and let it heat up with the oven.
  9. Place a piece of parchment paper on the counter and dust it with flour. I put two long narrow pieces in an X and a larger square piece in the center of the X. Even with this, the dough was so slack it ran onto the counter. I also liberally floured the counter anticipating this, making it easier to fold those portions back into the main loaf.
  10. Rub flour on your hands and scrape the dough away from the sides of the bowl. The dough is very slack and will not hold a shape. Shape and fold it into a circular loaf on the parchment paper. Don’t worry if it still looks a little rough in places. This lends to the rustic look of this loaf.
  11. Once shaped, the dough needs to undergo a short (30 min) second rise. Handle the dough as little as possible at this stage because any amount of tugging can cause it to deflate after its second rise.
  12. Sprinkle a little bit of flour over the top, along with some oats, and loosely cover it with a clean kitchen towel. The flour you sprinkle on top also prevents the towel from sticking to the dough so when you take it off at the end of the rise, it doesn’t disturb the dough and wreck the rustic shape you’ve created. Try to gently fold and shape the risen dough without deflating any more than necessary.
  13. Remove the preheated pot from the oven and transfer the dough into the pot as carefully as possible by handling only the parchment paper. Place the lid on the pot and return it to the oven for 30 minutes. Don’t open the oven during this time, and certainly don’t take the lid off the pot; the crispness of the crust develops because of the steam that builds up in the pot during this 30 minutes.
  14. After 30 minutes have passed, remove the lid from the pot and continue baking for another 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes have passed, remove the pot with bread from the oven and place the bread on a wire rack to cool. You’ll probably hear the loaf crackling as it cools – this is normal.
  15. If you can, resist the urge to cut into the bread until it has pretty much cooled completely. The bread continues to bake on the inside even after it has been removed from the oven and cutting it too early could result in the inside becoming gummy or rubbery.

And Now for Something Slightly Different

We nearly ran out of bread today, can you believe it? I thought it might be fun to make a minor change in my technique, and I mean minor. Instead of using a Dutch oven for the 75% Hydration Honey Bread, I decided to make two small loaves and bake them in a steam oven.

It worked fine. The bread is an acceptable size for sandwiches or toast. The crust isn’t quite as firm, but again, acceptable. The texture of the bread was spot on. Overall, I am pleased with the results of the experiment.

(The recipe below uses a Dutch Oven)

Honey No Knead 75 Percent Hydration Bread

Advanced No-Knead Bread

INGREDIENTS
• 600 g all-purpose flour (about 4 cups using ‘scoop and sweep’ method)
• 450 g water (2 cups, room temperature)
• 21 g honey (1 Tbsp)
• 14 g kosher salt (1 level Tbsp)
• 3 g SAF Gold instant yeast (1 tsp)

METHOD

  1. Add the water and honey to a large bowl and mix until the honey is dissolved.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix by hand, until a sticky homogeneous mass is formed. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour.
  3. After one hour, perform stretch and folds every 30 minutes over the next 1½ hours. Let the dough continue its fermentation for additional 1½ hours or until it doubles in size.
  4. Shape the dough in a ball and transfer to a proofing basket dusted with a 50/50 mix of all-purpose and rice flour, seam side up.
  5. Cover with a piece of paper towel (this will prevent sticking of the dough to the plastic wrap), then with a plastic wrap. Let proof for about 60 minutes or until the dough passes the finger test. (Poked with a finger the indentation will spring back very slowly.) The dough will increase in size about one a half times or so.
  6. Place a baking stone and a steam pan in the oven. Place the Dutch Oven into the oven and preheat to(450) 500oF. An hour of preheating is recommended.
  7. Turn the bread over on a piece of parchment paper. Score on top and lower the dough into the preheated Dutch Oven. Be careful opening the oven, it will be full of hot steam. Spray the walls of the oven with a bit of water (gentle mist) to re-create some of the lost steam and close the door.
  8. Immediately drop the temperature to (400) 450oF and bake for 25 minutes.
  9. Remove the water pan from the oven, turn the bread 180 degrees and leave the door cracked open. You can use a wooden spoon for that. Bake for another 25 minutes.
  10. When the baking is done, remove the bread from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Cool for 1 hour at room temperature before slicing.

Holy Jalapeños Batman!

I saw a recipe on Tasty.com for a Dutch Oven Jalapeño Cheese Bread and thought—that’s different and I wanted to try different. You see, I like things that change. I don’t like things that are always the same. Just ask the QA Department. She’ll tell you the truth.

I made the bread diligently following the recipe. No changes. I used the stretch and fold method rather than kneading. This method is good for any high hydration bread. This particular techniques uses a silicone spoon to stretch the dough then fold it over. With other stretch and fold techniques the dough it placed on a lightly floured surface and either a bench scraper or your wet hands stretch, then fold.

Once the dough has risen the second time use the bench stretch and fold technique to form, more or less, a ball. The following video is the first time I have tried recording any bread making technique.

Dutch-Oven Jalapeño Cheddar Bread

https://tasty.co/recipe/dutch-oven-jalapeno-cheddar-bread

INGREDIENTS
• 3 ½ cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
• 2 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
• 2 (70g) jalapeños, seeded and coarsely chopped
• 1 jalapeño, sliced into rings, divided
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• 2 cups warm water
• 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
• 1 tablespoon olive oil

METHOD

  1. In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, 2 cups (200 g) of cheddar cheese, the chopped jalapeños, and salt. Stir well.
  2. In a separate large bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. Pour the flour mixture on top of the water and use a silicone spatula to stir until the dough comes together.
  3. With the spatula, fold the dough around the edges of the bowl toward the center, rotating the bowl each time and folding a total of 8 times. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest in a warm place for 60 minutes, or until almost doubled in size.
  4. Using the spatula, fold the dough toward the center again 8 more times. Cover with the towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Add the Dutch oven and lid to the oven, and preheat to 450˚F (230˚C) for 30 minutes.
  6. Lightly flour a clean work surface and your hands. Carefully peel the dough out of the bowl and onto the floured surface. Flip over and carefully brush away excess flour. Fold the edges of the dough towards the center 8 times, then flip over the dough and transfer to a piece of parchment paper.
  7. Brush the top of the dough with the olive oil, so the cheese will stick. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup (50 g) of cheese on top. Use a sharp knife to score the bread with an “X”, which will allow steam to escape. Arrange the jalapeño rings on top of the cheese.
  8. Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and use the parchment to lift the bread into the pot. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for 20 more minutes, until the bread is golden brown.
  9. Carefully slide the bread out of the pot and onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper and let the bread cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.
  10. Slice the bread and serve as desired.

Honey, I Made the Bread

Is it “poolish” to make a high hydration bread without an overnight pre-ferment? It may have been a “biga” mistake but I made this high hydration no-knead bread with honey in a morning, in time for lunch.

After recent great success with Italian Pugliese bread it was time to start experimenting with variations. Can the flavor, crumb, hole formation and amazing crust of the high hydration (84%) pugliese be reproduced without using the biga (overnight pre-fermentation?)

This high hydration (75%) breads use a stretch and fold technique rather than kneading. This degasses and equalizes the temperature of the dough and builds and aligns the gluten strands to form an excellent full body loaf.

Along with no pre-fermentation this recipe does not use the Tipo 00 flour.

Quality Assurance report is just in – Yes!! This is a great bread! Make more! It has similar flavor, crumb, crust and hole formation as the Pugliese, but can be made start to finish in about 5 hours.

Honey No Knead 75 Percent Hydration Bread

Advanced No-Knead Bread

INGREDIENTS – (I weigh everything)
• 600 g all-purpose flour (about 4 cups using ‘scoop and sweep’ method)
• 450 g water (2 cups, room temperature)
• 21 g honey (1 Tbsp)
• 14 g kosher salt (1 level Tbsp)
• 3 g SAF Gold instant yeast (1 tsp)

METHOD

  1. Add the water and honey to a large bowl and mix until the honey is dissolved.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix by hand, until a sticky homogeneous mass is formed. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour.
  3. After one hour, perform stretch and folds every 30 minutes over the next 1½ hours. Let the dough continue its fermentation for additional 1½ hours or until it doubles in size.
  4. Shape the dough in a ball and transfer to a proofing basket dusted with a 50/50 mix of all-purpose and rice flour, seam side up.
  5. Cover with a piece of paper towel (this will prevent sticking of the dough to the plastic wrap), then with a plastic wrap. Let proof for about 60 minutes or until the dough passes the finger test. (Poked with a finger the indentation will spring back very slowly.) The dough will increase in size about one a half times or so.
  6. Place a baking stone and a steam pan in the oven. Preheat the oven to 500F. An hour of preheating is recommended.
  7. Turn the bread over on a piece of parchment paper. Score on top and place in the oven using a pizza peel. Be careful opening the oven, it will be full of hot steam. Spray the walls of the oven with a bit of water (gentle mist) to re-create some of the lost steam and close the door.
  8. Immediately drop the temperature to 450F and bake for 25 minutes.
  9. Remove the water pan from the oven, turn the bread 180 degrees and leave the door cracked open. You can use a wooden spoon for that. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 205-210F or about another 25 minutes.
  10. When the baking is done, remove the bread from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Cool for 1 hour at room temperature before slicing.

Whole (Wheat) Lotta Love

Great Led Zeppelin song – Whole Lotta Love

You may have noticed that I’ve been on a no-knead bread kick lately. Kneading dough isn’t a problem. My Kitchen-aide stand mixer and dough hook are very happy to knead the dough for me. What’s nice about this bread, aside from flavor, crumb, crust and appearance, is that it takes less that 10 minutes to mix the dough in the evening. It then ferments overnight, building all that great texture-generating gluten. In the morning simply form the dough into a ball and let it rest for an hour as the oven and Dutch Oven are heating, then bake for 30-45 minutes.

I found this recipe for a whole wheat no-knead bread a week ago and have made several loaves, giving most to friends, neighbors and family. I made two loaves today, one without seeds for my granddaughters, and one with for Fran and me. I use King Arthur’s Artisan Bread Topping which is a mixture of many seed varieties.

Made in a Dutch Oven, this bread has a great crust and excellent crumb and flavor. I find comments from each loaf, delivered while still warm, typically are, “You really outdid yourself with this loaf. It’s the best ever!” There is a feeling of satisfaction when, in these times, you are able to provide a simple, sensory respite for someone.

No-Knead Whole Wheat Bread

INGREDIENTS

• 300 grams (2 1/4 cups) bread flour, plus more for the work surface
• 100 grams (3/4 cup) whole-wheat flour
• 1 1/4 teaspoons salt (table)
• 1/2 teaspoon dried instant yeast
• 300 grams (1 1/3 cups) cool water (55 to 65 degrees)
• Wheat bran or cornmeal, for dusting (may use additional flour)

METHOD

  1. Stir together the flours, salt and yeast in a medium bowl. Add the water; use a wooden spoon or your hands to mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds. Cover the bowl and let the mixture sit at room temperature until its surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough has more than doubled in size, 12 to 18 hours.
  2. Generously dust a sheet of parchment paper with flour. Use a rubber spatula or lightly floured hands to scrape the dough onto the parchment paper in one piece. Use your lightly floured hands to lift the edges of the dough up and in toward the center. Gently pinch the pulled-up dough together, cupping the edges in your hands as needed to nudge it into a round (don’t worry about making it a perfect circle.)
  3. If the dough feels sticky, dust the top lightly with more wheat bran, cornmeal or flour. Place the plastic wrap used to cover the bowl of dough loosely over the dough. Place the dough in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it has almost doubled in size. When you gently poke the dough with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for an additional 15 minutes.
  4. About half an hour before you think the second rise is complete, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and place a 4 1/2- to 5 1/2-quart heavy Dutch oven or pot with a lid in the center of the rack. Preheat to 475 degrees.
  5. Use pot holders to carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven, then lift off the lid.
  6. Uncover the dough. Quickly, but gently slit the top with a lame or sharp knife. If you are going to add seeds, spray the loaf with a light coating of water and sprinkle the seeds over the top. Pick up the four corners of the parchment paper and place into the pot. (Use caution — the pot and lid will be very hot.) Cover with the lid; bake (lower rack) for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid; continue baking until the loaf is a deep chestnut color but not burned, 15 to 30 minutes more. (If you are like me and want a more precise measure, the bread is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the bread registers 200 to 210 degrees. I use the thermometer on every loaf.) Use the parchment paper to carefully lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly before serving or storing. Note: The oven temp is 475 degrees and if you remember Ray Bradbury’s book, you will never forget paper burns at Fahrenheit 451. It will be brown, black and crispy. Be gentle.