Each package contains:
Contents should look like this:
You will also need one level cup of warm water (100 F - 115 F).
You will need:
Empty all the baking flour into the bowl.
Add 3/4 of the cup of water to the flour.
Stir until all the flour is wet.
Set dough aside for approximately 5 minutes. When you now stir, the dough should be very stiff. (If the dough is springy, loose and lively after 3/4 cup water, do NOT add the rest of the water.) If dough is stiff and difficult to stir after 3/4 cup of water, add the remaining water and stir again. Let dough stand another minute or two. Now the dough should stir easily and feel springy, loose and lively. If it is still stiff, add 2 tablespoons water, stir and let stand again, then check looseness and springiness. The correct wetness is: Just enough water so that the dough will barely hold a three-dimensional shape without spreading. When enough water has been added to the flour to make a dough that feels springy, loose and lively, beat it vigorously for 50 strokes.
Although we recommend mixing by hand, you may use a stand mixer. If you do, stir first on low setting, let rest 1 minute,then beat on high for 1 minute.
Unfold and flatten the parchment sheet.
Turn the dough out onto it.
Wet a spoon or spatula.
Use it to spread and shape the dough into a loaf shape.
Smooth the loaf well. The more you seal it, the better the crust will be.
Sprinkle dusting flour on the loaf and pat into the surface with your fingers.
If your bread is Classic Sourdough, Bold Buckwheat Premium, or REALLY "Rye", use the sharp knife to slash the loaf.
The best type of slash is a lengthwise "Smile" about 3/4" deep and 6 - 8 inches long.
Slashing helps reduce tearing as the loaf expands in the oven.
We do not recommend slashing New Italian or Holiday Spice.
Slide the loaf, on its sheet of parchment, into the baking bag.
Fold the opening of the baking bag closed, and press down on the crease to secure it.
If bag touches dough, no harm done. Paper may stick to the crust but it will not effect flavor.
If you have the time to let the loaf rise you will obtain slightly better results.
To do this, place bagged loaves in a warm (90 - 100 F) place.
Position a rack in the middle slot of your oven. Heat the oven to 400°F
ALWAYS USE OVEN MITTS OR POT HOLDERS WHEN HANDLING HOT EQUIPMENT AND BREAD
Open the oven door, pick up the bread in its bag, and place it on the rack.
Set the timer to 85 minutes 120 minutes for Holiday Spice.
At the end of the baking cycle, remove bread from oven, tear open the bag and discard it. CAUTION! HOT STEAM MAY ESCAPE!
The bread is done if it is nutty brown (see color chart below) and/or if it sounds hollow when gently tapped.
Put the bread on a rack or screen so that no moisture is trapped underneath, and allow to cool thoroughly.
The photograph below illustrates the crust colors of our standard breads, New Italian and Classic Sourdough, when properly baked.
New Italian is the color of raw almonds. Classic Sourdough is the color of inner walnut meat. Bold Buckwheat Premium and REALLY "Rye" should be as dark as New Italian. Holiday Spice should be the darkest: approximately the color of molasses.
Allow bread to sit at least 2 hours to cool and stabilize. Unstabilized bread is great-tasting and totally edible, but the interior will be more moist, and the crust less crispy, than optimal.
You can leave an uncut loaf on a counter, uncovered, for up to 48 hours.
After slicing, turn the cut side down and set on a smooth surface, like a cutting board. Bread will stay fresh another 48 hours.
We do not recommend storage in plastic except for freezing.
If you will not eat a loaf within three days of baking, freeze the bread after sealing tightly in a plastic bag.
No bread should ever be refrigerated.