#Baketogether Peasant Boule ~ Your Way

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by Abby Dodge on January 1, 2012

After more than a month’s worth of sweet, holiday baking, I’m ready to bake something savory, something comforting and perhaps even therapeutic to make. I bet you might be as well. So… the first #baketogether of 2012 is …. BREAD!

I know there are some folks that claim they are “yeast challenged”, but I really believe that this bread will change how you look at those packets of yeast. Who knows, this recipe might even be life altering. It’s that easy to make and that good to eat.   This soft, slightly sticky dough is easy to handle and it bakes up into a heavenly, aromatic, buttery, soft crusted round with a porous, chewy texture. Sliced into thick pieces, it’s delicious slathered with butter or jam, makes amazing toast and hearty sandwiches or is the perfect partner to  a warm winter stew. You will want to eat this bread everyday. Really.

Let’s start with a quick rundown about this recipe and what you’ll need to have on hand to be successful:

•    A version of this recipe originally appeared in my book The Weekend Baker and is inspired by a bread I used to make when I ran the bakery at Hay Day Country Market (now Balducci’s) in Greenwich, Connecticut. The “peasant bread” was so popular that it regularly sold out faster than we could bake it – THAT good. What makes this recipe different from other yeast-risen breads is that I’ve teamed a bit of baking powder with the yeast to give the bread it’s chewy, airy quality.

•    This recipe calls for “instant” yeast not cake or regular granulated yeast. You can substitute these other types of yeast BUT make sure you adjust the water temperature and method accordingly as all yeasts do not play the same.

•    Use an accurate instant read thermometer. Take a reading of boiling water. Your thermometer should register 212°F. If not, adjust the temperature goal accordingly. All yeasts are very temperature sensitive and need the proper warmth to activate.

•    For the roundest shape, use an 8-inch round cake pan.

•    No stand mixer? Give me a hollah and we’ll go through the hand-mix method.

OK..  how about a few suggestions for making this recipe your own:

•    Change the shape! Make it rolls. Make it a traditional loaf.  Make it square.

•    Change the flavor! Cheese? Herbs? Black pepper?

Here at #baketogether, we love all shapes and flavors equally so put on your thinking caps.

A few How-To snaps that might help you:

After its first rise, shape the dough into a nice round and center it in a buttered 8-inch cake pan.

After rising, the dough will fill the pan:

And  will be  about 2″ above the rim in the center:

You all know the #baketogther drill, right? Use my recipe as a starting point and spin, twist and change it in any and every way you want. Take some snaps, write a post including info about #baketogether & links to this recipe and let us all know what you’ve created using all our fave social media (twitter, FB, instagram.. what have you). Once you’ve posted your version, leave your link below the recipe in this post so that we can all see and make your fab variations as soon as you’ve posted!

So, for now, I wish you all a very health and happy New Year and I’m looking forward to us all baking together in 2012.


Via drbabs: made w 1/3 cup white WW flour, 1 oz wheat germ, cinnamon, raisins & walnuts

Via RockiePie258

Via Cakewoman: