Italian Bread in Clay Baker

Recipe for Superstone long clay baker, taken from Sassafras Store.

Ingredients

  • 1⅔ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1½ teaspoons honey
  • 3-3½ cups (390-455g) all-purpose flour, OR use half all-purpose and half Italian-style flour for a lighter loaf (I’ve also tried substituting 75g of French-style flour for 75g of the all-purpose flour)
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon dry milk powder optional
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil optional

Instructions

  1. Dissolve honey in hot water, and mix with yeast in a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Mix salt and flour (and dry milk, if using) and slowly add to the yeast mixture until you have a stiff dough. Allow dough to rest for 10-20 minutes.
  3. Place the ball of dough onto a lightly floured dough cloth and knead for 8-10 minutes, or knead for 6-8 minutes in a stand mixer. Mix in the tablespoon of olive oil, if using, while kneading.
  4. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise in a warm, draft free place for about 2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.
  5. Punch down the dough. Form a long loaf to fit inside the long clay baker, and insert the loaf into the baker.
  6. Cover and allow the loaf to rise for about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  7. With a sharp knife, cut 2 or 3 slashes in the top of the loaf. Brush the top of the loaf with cold water, cover the baker with the lid, and bake at 400°F for 30-40 minutes, removing the lid for the final 10 minutes until the loaf is golden brown in color. (I bake mine about 25 minutes with the lid on, and then about 10 with it off.)
Second rise, in the clay baker