Bread - A Country Loaf

May 14, 2010
4 Ratings
  • Makes one large loaf
Author Notes

This bread recipe uses the basic ingredients needed to make what I like to call a Country Loaf. Baking on a stone is my preference; however, this recipe is written using a flat cookie sheet and is placed in a cold oven for the second rise. The loaves are large, sometimes unevenly shaped, make excellent sandwiches and when day old, great to use for French toast or a holiday stuffing. —lapadia

What You'll Need
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • OR, use 1/2 cup wheat and 3-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
  • 1 heaping teaspoon diastatic malt powder (or sugar)
  • (I buy the malt powder from King Arthur)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-3/4 cup warm water
  2. Fill a measuring cup with warm water; set aside.
  3. In a work bowl fitted with a dough hook add the dry ingredients. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the water. When the dough starts to come together yet looks rough, turn off the machine and let sit for 3 minutes.
  4. Loosely gather the dough together and knead with the dough hook until a ball is formed and is pulling from sides of bowl.
  5. Lightly flour a work surface and knead dough into a smooth and elastic ball; adding more flour if needed.
  6. Place the dough back in the work bowl, cover and let rise 1 hour, or until doubled.
  7. After the dough has doubled in size, punch down, knead, cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Prepare a flat cookie sheet with butter cooking spray.
  3. Lightly flour a surface and knead the dough. Form into a 12 inch loaf and roll it on the cookie sheet to coat all sides. Position the dough seam side down.
  4. With a sharp knife cut 4 to 5 diagonal slits, about 1/8 inch.
  5. Loosely cover and place in a cold oven to let rise again, until doubled.
  6. Uncover the loaf and turn the oven on to 375 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Loaf should be golden, a little browned on the bottom and sound hollow when tapped.
  9. Let the loaf cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before slicing.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • edgar homer
    edgar homer
  • judit Humphrys
    judit Humphrys
  • skillet
  • adguru
  • lapadia

12 Reviews

edgar H. October 29, 2015
made this bread turn out very nice thank for this recipe. I will remake it again.
lapadia October 30, 2015
Thanks for your feedback, Edgar, I'm happy it worked out nicely for you! :)
judit H. September 17, 2014
I have made this bread several times, with or without whole wheat flour, it turns out delicious everytime.
lapadia September 18, 2014
Hi JH, I'm so happy to get your feedback! I love this recipe because it is basic and simple to make with delicious results :)
skillet March 7, 2011
I made this yesterday and it came out great! I used your recipe, but with the "no-knead" method (mix by hand, let sit overnight). The bread took a little longer to bake, about 65-70 minutes, but came out great. Thanks for teaching me a new technique!
lapadia March 7, 2011
Cool!! So happy to get your feedback! I have never done this recipe with the “no-knead” method, will have to try that sometime (I have a Pita recipe posted that I sometimes do that way). FYI - Another reason I like a 2nd rise in the cold oven is that skipping the preheat saves on heating the house in the summer as well as the electric bill…. :) :)
skillet March 5, 2011
This looks great. What's the reasoning behind starting in a cold oven? I've never seen this technique before.
lapadia March 5, 2011
RE: a cold oven – I found it gives the loaf an extra rise as it begins to bake, and it gives an even texture, as well, it is convient having the rising loaf already in the oven! I don’t use this method for ALL my bread recipes…but it works great with this recipe. Side-note: I usually bake breads with convection - recipes I have instructed to start the 2nd rise in a cold oven before baking. Because I like to share recipes and a lot of people don’t have convection, I tested baking non-conventional/cold oven rising, and it worked just fine - especially for this recipe…I don’t do this for all my bread recipes, though. Would love to hear if you try it!
adguru May 15, 2010
Thanks for the reminders. Even though I am recognized at Whole Foods as a Baker, I need (or should that be kneed) all the help I can get.
lapadia May 15, 2010
Just finished baking a loaf of this bread, haven’t made this version for a while, and thought I would pass on that it doesn’t need much extra flour when shaping the loaf. I like to use King Arthur bread flour, I am sure Whole Foods has that…and more! Since I moved across the sound from Seattle I don’t have a Whole Foods nearby…how lucky you are. Too funny…kneading help. Please, check out my blog to see other breads you may want make sometime...
adguru May 15, 2010
It looks great. I'm not a baker, but I am flush with some measure of success in making a thin crust pizza dough. So like a rum drunk sailor on shore leave, I'm ready to take on the world. In fact there may be some measure of fate at work here. I bought some Semolina flour at Whole Foods tonight and the wholesome aproned lady who I was paying said, "Oh wait, you are a baker. Do you have your "Bread Card." I didn't but she filled one out for me so I figure that I'm already being recognized by society as a 'Baker.'" Yeah, this loaf should be a piece of cake for a Baker like me.
lapadia May 15, 2010
Happy Baking! please note that I use bread flour for this recipe, and tweaked the water to 1-3/4.