Alice's Rustic Country Bread

"This bakes up nice and crusty.. dark and delicious. You first have to make the 'sponge' and let it rest for at least 5 hours. Then you mix in more flour and water, honey and salt and let rise for two hours. It's a very soft/sticky dough.. so you'll have trouble folding it into itself... I used a rubber spatula and then just dump it into a tall greased bowl (one that isn't wide around) and let it rise again for the last 45 minutes. After that I just dump out of that greased bowl onto cornmeal dusted parchment paper.. make a criss cross with a sharp knife or razor blade and slide it off onto unglazed quarry tiles into a preheated oven. I spray a little water into the oven to create a crispy crust."
photo by DeeBee photo by DeeBee
photo by DeeBee
Ready In:
8hrs 40mins
1 loaf




  • Stir together Sponge ingredients to form a stiff dough. Cover and let rest for at least 5 hours.
  • In mixing bowl with dough hook add the 4 cups of bread flour, 1-1/3 cups of water, 2TB honey and 2 tsp salt.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 2 hours.
  • After 2 hours, fold dough into itself and dump into an oiled bowl with the smooth side up and let rise with a dampened kitchen towel over it for 45 minutes.
  • In the meantime, preheat oven with tiles (or if you're using a stone preheat the stone in the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • After the 45 minutes second rise time is up, dump the dough onto a cornmeal dusted piece of parchment paper that you've put onto a cookie sheet. Open oven and slide the dough with the parchment paper onto the baking tiles. Spritz oven with water and close oven and bake about 35 to 40 minutes or until internal temperature of bread reaches 210 degrees F.

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Hmm... let's see.. Cooking is my passion... I'm retired now and able to cook and bake every day. I think the most helpful cookbook that I own would have to be The New Doubleday Cookbook. I just love kitchen gadgets and have many of them. Besides cooking I love to sing and belong to the Sweet Adeline's International. I get very annoyed at people who are LATE! I think it's just as easy to be late as it is to be on time. Well.. thanks to all of you at Zaar for all of your terrific recipes and ideas that bring my friends and family much joy and happiness. They get to try all of my new recipes.
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