unbleached all-purpose flour
( use King Arthur Flour if you can)
hot water, to make a soft, smooth dough
1 1/4 teaspoons
( or 1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water)
- In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl.
- You may need up to 2/3 cup of hot water to make a soft, smooth dough.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. (You may also knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine set to the dough or manual cycle).
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 60 minutes, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
- Don't punch down the dough. Transfer it to a lightly oiled work surface, and gently shape it into an 8-inch log.
- Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 60 minutes, until it’s domed about 1 inch above the edge of the pan.
- A finger pressed into the dough should leave a mark that rebounds slowly.
- Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for about 35 minutes, until it’s light golden brown.
- Test it for doneness by removing it from the pan and thumping it on the bottom (it should sound hollow), or by measuring its interior temperature with an instant-read thermometer (it should register 190°F at the center of the loaf).
- Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a wire rack before slicing.
- Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.