6 cups bread or all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups hot water
- Sesame or poppy seeds for sprinkling (optional)
- Pan filled with about 4 cups of hot water
- Place 4 cups of flour in a mixing bowl with yeast, salt and sugar. Stir until blended. Pour in hot water and beat 100 strong strokes by hand, or three minutes with a mixer flat beater. Gradually work in remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time until the dough takes shape and is no longer sticky.
- Knead 8 minutes by hand or with a dough hook until dough is smooth, elastic. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and put in a warm (80-100°F) place until double in size, about 15-20 minutes.
- Punch down dough, turn out on work surface, and cut into two pieces. Shape each into a round. Place on baking sheet. With a sharp knife or razor, slash an X on each of the loaves about a half inch deep. Brush or spray with water, and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.
- Place baking sheet on middle shelf of a cold oven. Place a large pan of hot water from kitchen tap on shelf below, (or bottom of oven) and turn oven on to 400 degrees F. Loaves will continue to rise while oven is heating and water steams.
- Bake about 50 minutes, or until the loaves are a deep golden brown. Thump on bottom crusts to test doneness. Loaves should sound hollow.
Source: Gail from Good Deal Meals