My husband had a favorite sandwich shop that closed and the bread for the sandwiches was a sourdough type with a great texture. After much experimentation, I have come close to duplicating the bread's taste and texture. You can easily halve this recipe for only one loaf.—
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- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Additional water
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand 5 minutes. Add salt, vinegar and 1-1/2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
- Do not knead. Transfer to a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 50 minutes.
- Stir dough down. Transfer to a greased 9-in. pie plate. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 35 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425°. Brush with oil. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until golden brown, spritzing twice with additional water. Yield: 1 loaf (8 wedges).
Originally published as Rustic Country Bread in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2012, p50
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