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Homemade Bread Baking
Bread Recipes

  1. Recipe for French Baguette

  2. Recipe for Pane Pugliese


This recipe is given both in terms of ingredient weight and volume. Weight will give you a more precise measurement of ingredients, and inexpensive digital scales are available from a variety of home kitchen supply stores and catalogs.

We suggest the use of a starter to add a level of complexity to the bread’s flavor. The easiest starter is a Poolish made as follows:

Unbleached, unbrominated flour – 100 grams (3/4 cup)

Water at room temperature – 100 grams (3 ½ ounces)

Pinch of yeast, either active dry or cake.

Mix all ingredients with a spoon. Cover with plastic wrap in a non-reactive bowl. Leave at room temperature for at least 24 hours. I have left a polish at room temperature for up to 48 hours.

Water at 80-90 degrees - 225 grams (1 cup)

Unbleached, unbrominated flour - 400 grams (3 cups)

Poolish from above. If you are not using a starter, add the weight of ingredients from the starter to insure the correct proportions of water to flour.

Yeast – one package of active dry, or 4 grams of cake (4 grams of cake yeast is about ¼ inch sliced off the 1 inch square cake available at my local supermarket - look in the refrigerated section).

Salt – 10 grams (3 level teaspoons)

1. Mix water and flour, let stand for ten minutes. For this step, you do not want to begin kneading the dough. Just mix until the water is fully absorbed into the flour.

2. Add the poolish and yeast, knead by hand for 10 minutes or by machine for 6-8 minutes. You can tell when the bread is sufficiently kneaded by employing a test called windowpane. Stretch a section of the dough until it forms a very thin sheet that is translucent. The dough is done when you can stretch a thin translucent “windowpane” without the dough breaking. The dough should be wet. If the dough is too dry, add a little water.

3. Add the salt and knead for an additional 2 minutes or so to disperse the salt through the dough.

4. Place the dough in an oiled non-reactive bowl cover with plastic. Lift one corner of the plastic and mist the dough with water.

5. Let the dough rise until it has approximately doubled in size. Fold the dough over four times by turning the bowl ninety degrees and pulling the edge of the dough furthest way from you over the top of the rest of the dough. After the fourth fold, lift the entire ball of dough and turn it over in the bowl.

Cover and mist again and let rise another hour or so. I have experimented a fair amount with rising time. The amount of time required for the bread to double in size will depend on the temperature of the room and the dough, and on the condition of the yeast you use. Also, if you like an airy loaf, you will want to allow for longer rise and proofing time (second rising).


6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Add as little flour as possible to the dough at this stage. Divide dough into three or four equal parts. If you have the full size bread baker, you can bake three loaves at the same time. If you have the 2/3 size baker, and will need to bake in two batches, 2 loaves each batch.

7. Form dough into crude loaves by flattening dough into a square pancake about 4-5 inches on a side.

Fold the third of the dough furthest away from you over onto the middle third and press the edge into the underlying layer of dough.

Repeat by folding the double layer section over the third of the dough closest to you, pressing the edges together again. See series of photos. Press each layer lightly into the underlying layer. Do not knead the dough at this stage, as we want to keep as much air as possible in the dough.

8. Let these crude loaves stand for ten minutes.

9. At this stage, we want to form the loaves into their final elongated shape.

The loaves should end up about 16-17 inches long, if you are using the full size baker, 10-11 inches long if you are using the 2/3 size baker. The way we shape the loaves is to form an indentation in the center of the loaf along the length of the loaf. Fold the bread over the and press the edges together. Repeat a seond time. To form the loaves to their final length and shape, roll the loaves gently under both palms for final shaping. See sereis of photos.

10. Place the loaves on parchment paper square.

11. Cover the loaves loosely with plastic wrap. Mist the plastic wrap with water to keep the loaves moist as well as to prevent the plastic from sticking to the loaves. Let proof for about an hour. We suggest that you preheat the oven to 425-450 degrees from the time you start this final proofing. This will insure the baking stone is at oven temperature when you load the loaves.

12. When it is time to bake the loaves, remove the plastic wrap and score the loaves with a very sharp knife or razor blade. I like three diagonal cuts along the top of the loaves.

13. Load and steam loaves according to the procedure at the beginning of the Step-by-step Instructions. Bake the loaves for 25-30 minutes (including time in the steam chamber). Half way through the uncovered baking time, turn the baking stone or the parchment paper 180 degrees to insure even baking.

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Bread Recipe: Pane Pugliese

Step 1: Biga

Unbleached flour  1 3/8 cups  6.5 ounces
Yeast ½ teaspoon 0.03 ounces
Water, room temperature ½ cup + 2 tablespoons 4 - 4.5 ounces
  1. Mix flour and yeast in bowl or bowl of an electric mixer.  Add a little more then 1/2 cup of the water and mix to form a coarse ball.  If using an electric mixer, mix on low speed for one minute with paddle mixer.  Adjust the flour or water to form a dough that is neither too stiff or sticky.  Err on the sticky side.
  2. Dust the counter with flour and transfer the dough to the counter.  Knead for 5 minutes, or mix on second (medium) speed with the dough hook for 3 minutes.  Dough should be soft and pliable, not too sticky.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, coat with oil and cover with plastic wrap.  Keep at room temperature for 2-4 hours. Dough should double in size.
  4. Remove dough from bowl and knead lightly to degas.  Return to bowl and place in refrigerator over night or up to three days.  Biga can be frozen for longer periods.

Step 2: Pane Pugliese

 Pane Pugliese Recipe – Makes Two 1 lb. loaves
Biga (see recipe above) (about 10.8 ounces)
Unbleached flour 2 ¼ cups 10 ounces
Salt 1 ½ teaspoons 0.4 ounces
Yeast 1 teaspoon 0.1 ounces
Water at 90 - 100 F 1 – 1 1/8 cups 8-9 ounces

1. Remove the biga from the refrigerator at least one hour before making the dough. Cut into smaller pieces or flatten on a lightly floured surface to speed the warming process. Cover with plastic so it doesn’t dry.

2. Mix flour, salt and yeast in bowl. Add biga and 1 cup water. Mix until dough forms wet, sticky ball. Use low speed and paddle attachment if using an electric mixer.

3. If you are mixing by hand, mix in the bowl for several minutes to develop the gluten before transferring dough to floured counter surface. If using an electric mixer, use second speed (medium) and dough hook for about 4 minutes until dough forms smooth, sticky ball and separates from the sides of the bowl. Dough will still be sticking to the bottom of the bowl.

4. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and continue to knead. The dough should be wet and sticky. You may want to use a scrapper or rubber spatula and use a stretch and fold technique more then a conventional kneading motion to work the dough. As the gluten develops further the stickiness will diminish. Resist the urge to add more flour. The wetter the dough, the better the bread.

5. Cover the dough with plastic and let rest for 15 – 30 minutes. Work the dough again with the stretch and fold method for 4-5 minutes. The longer you repeat the process, the less sticky the dough will become.

6. Repeat the rest, stretch and fold method for a third time. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic. Use a mister to humidify the air space in the bowl. Leave dough undisturbed for at least two hours.

7. Dust counter with flour. Transfer dough to counter, taking care not to degas the dough any more then necessary. Using a metal scrapper or knife, divide the dough into two pieces. Dust hands with flour and gently form dough into two boules. Place them seam side down on parchment paper in preparation for loading to oven. If you use proofing bowls, transfer dough, seam side up to proofing bowls.

8. Mist the top of the dough with water or light oil and cover with plastic wrap or damp towel. You do not want to let the surface of the dough dry out and form a crust during proofing.

9. Proof at room temperature for 60-90 minutes until dough has expanded 1 ½ to 2 times. Preheat oven with baking stone to 450 F at least one hour before baking.

10. Five minutes before you are to place loaves in oven, fill and plug in steam generator according to instruction in manual and on website ( Be sure to read and follow all safety instructions for operating steam generator.

11. Transfer loaves to a peel or bottom of a ½ size baking sheet for transfer to the oven. Score tops of loaves with # sign or cross in the top center.

12. Transfer loaves to baking stone. Cover with steam insert lid and inject steam to steam chamber for 10 – 25 seconds.

13. 5-10 minutes into baking process, remove lid from steam chamber and bake for the remainder of baking time on uncovered baking stone.

14. Bake for 30-40 minutes total, or until bread curst is a deep golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

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