Prep 20 mins
Cook 4 hrs
Originally from Jacque Pepin's La Complet Techniques but dough handling is completely different and this will fit in the most common loafpan size available. I suggest you double wrap whatever weight you have in foil to protect your bakeware. This can also be made in a kitchenaid mixer if your arms aren't up for the exercise!
- 1 lb plain flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1⁄2 cup hot water
- 5 g yeast (this is nearly a whole packet but not quite.. maybe like 3/4s of one)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 3 ounces unsalted butter, softened. (81grams)
- Weigh out flour and remove about a cup from the flour.
- Mix the milk with the hot water (should be around 95F) then mix in the dry yeast and sugar into the milk and add to the flour.
- Mix everything with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes.
- Add softened butter in chunks and beat this into the mix (yes this is extremely hard work but you'll love the bread!) then add the reserved flour and salt and mix together. Try to beat/mix this extremely soft dough for 2-3 minutes until very elastic.
- Heavily butter another bowl and scoop the soft dough into the bowl and cover in plastic wrap.
- Place in oven at 45C(85F) for 2 hours to rise. Heavily butter an 8inch by 4 inch loaf pan and the bottom of a heavy baking sheet. When batter/dough has risen, smush down and fold with a spoon gently then scrap into an 8inchx4inch loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap or dry kitchen tea towel and let rise until it's just below the top of the pan NOT ABOVE THE LOAF PAN EDGE! Place buttered-bottom baking sheet on top of loaf pan and place brick/rock/heavy weight on top. Place carefully into 425F/210C oven for 20 minutes then remove weight and continue baking for 20 minutes longer or until the bread sounds hollow when thumped on the base (remove from oven, invert from pan, and thump). When done, remove from pan and let cool on rack.