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French Bread -- "Amish Friendship" Style

Ingredients

1 pound bread flour, plus a little bit extra if needed
1+ teaspoon instant rapid rise yeast
2 teaspoons honey
10 ounces bottled or filtered water
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1 Cup Friendship Bread Starter ["Ripe," Day 10 before adding the milk, sugar & flour]
2 quarts boiling-hot water
Vegetable oil, for greasing the rising container
1 tablespoon cornstarch [for glazing]

Instructions

STAGE ONE -- DAY ONE -- PRE-FERMENTING
• Combine 5 ounces of the flour, 1/4 teaspoon of the yeast, all of the honey, all of the bottled water and the Friendship starter in a straight-sides container; cover loosely and refrigerate for 8 to 12 [or even more] hours.  

STAGE TWO -- DAY TWO [bake day]
Pre-heat a ceramic or clay loaf pan with lid, in a 420F oven or Egg

• Place the remaining 11 ounces of flour, remaining yeast, and all the salt into the bowl of a stand mixer, and add the pre-ferment [which includes the Friendship Starter] from the refrigerator.
• Using the dough hook attachment, knead the mixture on low for 2 to 3 minutes just until it comes together. You may have to add in several more Tbs of flour at this point
• Cover the dough in the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
• After 20 minutes, knead the dough on medium speed for 5 to 10 minutes
• Do the window pane test – the dough will still be a bit sticky
• Place the dough into a greased bowl & set on rack in oven over a pan of boiling-hot water. This keeps the oven warm and adds valuable steam to the oven space.
• Allow to rise until doubled in size, approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.
• Turn the risen dough out onto a counter top
• Press the dough out with your knuckles, then tri-fold several times.
• Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for another 10 minutes.
• Punch down, then fold the dough in onto itself. Turn the dough over and squeeze the bottom together so that the top surface of the dough is smooth.
• Place the dough back onto the counter [on parchment paper] and begin to roll gently between your hands to tighten – use circular motion.
• Cover with a tea towel and bench proof [still on the parchment] for an add’l hour, or until you poke the dough and it quickly fills back in where you poked it.
• Toss the dough into the ceramic/clay loaf mold, slash top lengthwise, glaze [Option -- use a round CI pan w/lid... I often use a 3-1/2 qt Le Crueset]
• Bake @420F for 30 minutes, then remove lid and lower temp to 375F for an additional 20 minutes [internal 205F]
• Cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

Notes

Number of Servings:

Time to Prepare:

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