4 C flour
1 1/2 C barely warm water
1 1/2 t active dry yeast
1 t salt
Put the flour in a large bowl, the bowl of a stand mixer, and make a well in the middle. Pour in the water, which should feel neither warm nor cool. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it sit for 10 minutes. Mix the ingredients, add the salt and mix some more.
Fit the mixer with the dough hook. Mix for 2 minutes to moisten the flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 20 min. Knead the dough on medium speed for about 7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap. Leave the dough to rise for about 2 hours at warm room temperature.
Punch down the dough and shape it into a loaf. Put loaf into well oiled loaf pan.
Cover with oiled plastic and let rise in a warm place, until doubled in volume, 1-3 hours.
Preheat oven to 425. Place a sheet pan on the floor of the oven or on the bottom rack, and pour in enough hot water to come about 1/3 in up the side of the sheet pan. Slide the loaf on to an oven rack over the pan of water.
Bake for 35-40 min.
This recipe sounds involved but it's not once you get the hang of it, trust me I dont' like involved recipes. The crust turns out really hard, which I dont' know why, I would like it if it were a bit softer. I think you have to refill the water in the pan, cuz last time I actually did this step and the water ran out.
This bread is so good right out of the oven with butter and jelly.