Loaf It or Leave It


A loaf of bread is a wonderful thing. You can slice it for the simple joys of toast. The easy-going eating quality lends itself to sandwiches. And for those of us raised on store-bought white bread, baking your own is a revelation. Follow the steps for the Country Sourdough up until the Shaping. The shaping for a loaf pan is pretty easy and pretty forgiving, since the loaf pan supports the shape of the dough. To shape a loaf for a loaf pan:

1. On a lightly floured surface, grab the pre-shapen dough and stretch it vertically (north-south) into a long rectangle

2. Fold down the top 1/3 of the dough

3. Fold up the botton 1/3 of the dough

4. Place both hands on the dough, with your pinkies under the dough, pull the it towards you until the dough is tight and resembles a log

5. Roll the dough back and forth on the work surface to close the seam (if you have too much flour on the work surface the seam won’t cose, so just turn the loaf over and pinch the seam closed with your fingers)

Once the dough has been shaped, place in a lightly greased loaf pan and cover. The Country Sourdough recipe will yield two loaves. You can bake the loaves in about two hours or retard them overnight. Follow the directions for the Bake. You will not be able to cover these loaves, but you will need to get some steam into the oven. The best way to do this is to cover a kitchen towel with water in a baking pan, and put this in the oven while it is pre-heating. Keep the pan in the oven for the first 20 minutes of the bake and then remove. Continue to bake for another 15 minutes, turning once to brown evenly. Once the bread is baked, remove them from the loaf pans and cool on a cooling rack.


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