Prep 5 mins
Cook 30 mins
Quick and easy refrigerator bread. Lasts for two weeks. Don't wash container between uses to get a sour dough flavor.
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons granulated yeast (or 2 packets)
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons salt
- 3⁄4 cup oat bran
- 5 3⁄4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- cornmeal, for coating surface
- 1. Mixing and storing the dough: Mix the yeast and salt with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
- 2. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients without kneading, using a spoon, a 14-cup capacity food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy duty stand mixer (with dough hook). If you're not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.
- 3. Allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
- 4. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 14 days.
- 5. On baking day, dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on a ll four side, rotating the ball in a quarter-turn as you go. Then form a oval-shaped loaf. Allow to rest and rise on a cornmeal-covered pizza peel for 40 minutes.
- 6. Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450ºF, with a baking stone placed on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray on any other shelf that won't interfere with the rising bread.
- 7. Sprinkle the loaf liberally with flour and slash parallel cuts across the loaf, using a serrated bread knife. Leave the flour in place for baking; tap some of it off before eating.
- 8. Slide the loaf directly onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 30minutes, until deeply browned and firm. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in baking time.
- 9. Allow to cool before slicing or eating.