"After all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual "food" out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking 30 or 40 postage stamps."--Miss Piggy

Classic Country Holiday Style Hearth Loaf Recipe

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This recipe for Classic Country Holiday Style Hearth Loaf, by , is from Our Family! An Expanded Multi Cultural Cooking Experience, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Ralph Carnesecchi
Added: Monday, August 13, 2007


4 oz. Starter or Poolish (optional).
20 oz. Spring water.
1/4 oz. Dry yeast.
32 oz. 1 part whole wheat flour & 2 parts white flour, mixed together.
2 T. Sea salt.
2 Egg whites.
1 T. Sesame seeds, toasted.

Place yeast in 1/2 cup of water at about 100 degrees.

Add 1/8 tsp.of olive oil to yeast water and mix.

Leave yeast/water alone for 10 minutes or until it starts to create foam , then yeast is active and can be added to flour as follows.

Place 80 % of flour in large bowl or mixer, add 90 % of remaining water slowly, plus the yeast water, salt and optional Poolish/starter.

Reserve remaining flour and water for kneading process.

Mix flour until all blended in a thick mass that is difficult to stir.

If using a mixer, the thick mass is ready when it pulls away from walls of bowl without leaving significant residue on bowl.

Remove dough from bowl and place on a well floured board, and begin to knead by hand for about 15 minutes. Alternately, use a mixer with a kneading hook attachment.

During kneading process it may be necessary to add water if too dry , or add flour if too loose/wet.

After kneading is complete ( ready when you push a finger in dough and it retains imprint), place in a oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth.

Let dough dough rest for 1 hour. It should double in size.

Remove dough and punch down and form into a ball. Return dough to oiled bowl and cover again.

Remove dough after another hour and punch dough down again.

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees. If using baking stone place in oven now.

Now cut dough in to two equal balls, cover and let rest for 1/2 hour.

Shape dough balls in to logs resembling loaves and cut diagonal slits on top of each log.

Coat dough logs with egg white and sesame seeds, and place in oven at 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Spray water on loaves every 2 minutes.

Reduce heat to 400 degrees and bake for another 15 -20 minutes until loaves sound hollow when you tap loaves with your knuckle. If not hollow sounding then bake for another 5 minutes.

Remember to keep spraying water into oven at least every 5 minutes till fully baked.

Remove and let rest on rack for 10 minutes.


Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
2 loaves
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
3 hours
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
Can make one round loaf instead of two Italian oblong loaves. The Aroma will knock your socks off, especially at holiday time. Great with stews, Italian sauce, or shrimp scampi.

Add sun dried tomato's and or rosemary, during initial mix, for a distinctive flavor. Experiment with other ingredients such as walnuts (soften in water), oats, etc.

This recipe is worth the effort, especially if you know how to make a starter or poolish...any good bread recipe book will show you how, or you may ask your local baker to sell you some. You would add starter/poolish to flour and water mix.

This bread can be kept fresh for several days, if stored in brown paper bag...not plastic.

Use same recipe for Faccacia!




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