Prep 2 hrs
Cook 40 mins
Adapted from a recipe in "A Treasury of Great Recipes" by Mary and Vincent Price, this is an excellent loaf that Mr. Price called his "house bread." He states that it has a taste and texture very close to real French bread. Enjoy it fresh and warm, spread with garlic butter and sprinkled chopped parsley and chives. Mr. Price suggests it is excellent with Dungeness crab, mustard mayonnaise, and Italian Soave white wine. The original recipe employed hand kneading, while this recipe has been updated using a modern mixer (a KitchenAid works great!). Source: Michael Rodgers (Michael in Phoenix), Gail's Recipe Swap.
- 5 cups sifted flour, divided
- 1⁄2 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 2 cups warm water (about 120 F)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon ice water
- 2 cups boiling water
- You will also need: electric mixer with paddle and dough hook attachments.
- Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, combine 2 cups of sifted flour, ginger, salt, sugar, and yeast.
- With the mixer on medium-low speed, add in the warm water, mix for 1 minute, then increase speed to medium-high and mix until it is smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Reduce speed to medium, then add another 1 1/2 cups flour- dough should begin to be too dense for the paddle attachment.
- Remove paddle from the mixer, scrape the dough from it into the bowl, and attach the dough hook to the mixer.
- On low speed, gradually add the remaining flour and let the mixer knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes, occasionally sprinkling the sides of the bowl with a little flour if the dough sticks.
- With your hands covered with soft butter, remove the dough from the bowl and pat into a buttered ball in another large glass bowl; cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise for about 1 hour or until double in size.
- Grease baking sheet with 1 tablespoon melted butter, then dust with cornmeal.
- Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly-floured board; form into 1 large or 2 smaller loaves.
- Place loaves on buttered and dusted baking sheet and brush top (s) with ice water; make three or four diagonal slashes on top of dough, then let rise again until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 475°F; in the lower rack of the oven, place a shallow pan containing the boiling water.
- Brush the top of the dough with remaining melted butter.
- Bake dough on upper rack of oven for 7 minutes at 475°, then reduce oven temperature to 350° and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until crust has reached the preferred color and texture.
- Remove bread from oven and transfer to a cooling rack; serve warm or at room temperature.