The key to this recipe is the flour...use as little as possible, while making sure the dough isn't too sticky. It may take a few attempts, but when you get it right, it's so satisfying. :)
- 2 1/4 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons yeast
- 5-7 cups flour (try to stay under 7)
- 1 tablespoon salt
Dissolve yeast in water in mixing bowl- about 5 min. Add 1 heaping cup of flour- mix by hand. Add salt, continuing to mix by hand. At this point you can attach to mixer and set on speed 2. Continue adding flour 1/2 to 1 cup at a time until the dough clings to the hook in a ball. Allow mixer to knead the dough for about 5 min. Add more flour if it begins to stick on the sides. When the dough is slightly sticky and springs back to the touch, it is ready to let rise. Oil the top of the dough ball and turn it to oil the inside of the bowl. cover and let rise for about 1 hour. Punch down and let rise for 20-30 min. Punch down again, shape into loaves, let rise while preheating the oven. When loaves no longer spring back, brush with cold water, make diagonal slits across the top, and bake at 400 degrees for 20 min. until golden brown.