On my fourth try, I finally got the bread to come out nice, just in time for Easter. So here’s my Easter Loaf recipe. Sorry there’s no picture; we ate it! You’ll need a dutch oven and 5-10 hours ideally, although the actual work required totals about 5 minutes.
First make the sponge- mix the following in a large bowl and let it sit for half an hour:
- 1 packet of Fleischmann’s Instant Yeast (NOTE: Russ says use 1/4 teaspoon; I’m telling you what worked for me)
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 cup unbleached flour
- 1 cup warm water
After half an hour there should be some bubbles on the top. Next, using a wooden spoon, mix in:
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1/4 cup unbleached flour
- 3/4 cup flavor flours (rye, whole wheat, buckweat, quinoa, chickpea flour, etc.- I used 1/4 c. whole wheat, 1/4 c. buckwheat low gluten, and 1/4 c. chickpea flour)
- Flavoring or seeds, such as caraway for rye, wheat germ, dill, rosemary, garlic, etc.
Flour a board or counter and knead the dough 10-15 times. Flour the bowl and dump the dough back in and cover with a towel.
Let the dough rise for 2-8 hours.
Smack down the dough and knead it again, well. Try to get the air out of it. Let it rise for another few hours.
Pre-heat the oven to 450°ree; and put the dutch oven with the lid on in to heat up for half an hour. Take the dutch oven out, sprinkle a little corn flour or polenta in and turn the dough into it. Sprinkle a little water on the dough and then some sesame seeds on top, and press into the dough. Bake with the lid on for half an hour. Then remove the lid and bake another 12-15 minutes, til you get a nice brown top. The bread should poof up nice and round. Easy work!