French Peasant Bread

Sunday was cold, dreary, snowy, sleety, icy….need I say more?

What was needed was a good bowl of potato soup and a crusty piece of bread.

This is a great bread when you don’t have a lot of time to knead and shape.   And, it is delicious.

French Peasant Bread
slightly adapted from Jambalaya (Junior League of New Orleans)

2 c. warm water (105 and 110°F)
1 T. sugar
2 T. fine sea salt
2 T. yeast
2 t. Balsamic vinegar
4 c. all-purpose flour
olive oil
more flour for dusting

Combine warm water with sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer.   Attach paddle and mix yeast mixture until dissolved.   Stir in Balsamic and flour.  Beat until dough comes together—dough will be sticky.

Oil a large mixing bowl and scrape dough in, cover with a clean towel, and let rise in a warm area for 45 minutes.

Slightly oil a silpat or parchment paper lined LARGE baking sheet.

Punch dough down and shape into a round.

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Like my new clean silicon pad?

Place on oiled silpat.   Let rise, uncovered, for 45 more minutes.

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Loaf will double in size and flatten out a bit leaving some craggy craters.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.    Dust the top of the round loaf with flour.   Bake at 425 for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 375 and bake 20 minutes more.

Bread will flatten out a bit and be crusty.

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Nice and brown and crusty.

(If you don’t have a very large baking sheet, divide the dough and make two loaves.)

The addition of the Balsamic gives it just a bit of sour dough taste.  This bread is perfect to sop up soup or to serve with pasta.  

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I love the texture of this bread.

Stay tuned for the potato soup (another peasant-like dish).

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