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  1. Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Combine all the dough ingredients, and mix and knead them — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until you have a soft, smooth dough.

  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or 8-cup measure (the measure lets you track the dough's progress as it rises), and let it rise until nearly doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

  3. Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.

  4. Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into a 9" log. Place it in the prepared pan. Cover the pan and let the bread rise until it crowns about 1 ½" over the rim of the pan, 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours.

  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  6. Uncover the bread, and bake it for 40 to 45 minutes, tenting it with foil after 15 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will register 190°F when the loaf is done. Remove the bread from the oven, and after about a minute turn out onto a rack to cool.

Tips from our Bakers

  • For a glossy, sweet crust, mix 2 teaspoons melted butter and 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and brush onto the hot baked bread.