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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 of the dough ingredients, stirring until the dough comes together.

  2. Knead the dough, by hand or using a mixer, until it's smooth, soft, and sticky, adding additional water or bread flour if necessary. 

  3. Cover the dough and let it rise until puffy, 60 to 90 minutes.

  4. Lightly grease the base of a 2-pound capacity covered bread baker, like our glazed long covered bakerbread baking crock, or Dutch oven. Dust it with flour, semolina, or cornmeal.

  5. Gently deflate the dough and shape it into a log the size and shape of your chosen baker. Place it in the prepared pan, and let the dough rise until it's just about doubled in size, 60 to 90 minutes.

  6. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 400°F.

  7. Just before baking, spritz or brush the loaf with water and sprinkle with Artisan Bread Topping.

  8. Bake the bread for 40 minutes with the cover on, then remove the cover and continue baking for 5 to 10 minutes longer. The bread should be a nice golden brown when finished, and its internal temperature will register at least 200°F on a digital thermometer.

  9. Remove the bread from the oven, turn it out of the pan, and let it cool completely before slicing.

  10. Store bread, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • If you don't have a 2-pound capacity covered baker or lidded crock, shape the dough into a freeform log or boule and place it on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. When ready to bake, slash the bread several times to give it room to expand; then bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until it tests done.