Peasant Boule

Peasant Boule

Makes 1 round loaf; 8-10 servings.

3 1/3 cups (15 ounces) all purpose flour

1 packet (1/4 ounce) instant yeast (Rapid Rise)

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons table salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/3 cups very warm water (between 115 and 125 degrees)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1. In a large bowl of electric stand mixer, whisk the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking powder. Clip the bowl into the mixer stand and fit the mixer with the dough hook.

2. Check that the water temperature registers about 120 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. (In order for this type of yeast to grow, the liquid needs to be between 115 and 125 degrees.)

3. With mixer on medium-low speed, slowly pour the water into the flour and mix until the flour is completely incorporated.  Increase the speed to medium and beat until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the bottom and sides of the bowl, about 6 minutes. Don’t venture too far away while it’s mixing as the mixer might dance around on the counter.

4. Scoop up the dough and shape it into a ball. Lightly grease (using some of the melted butter or spray release) the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl and pop the dough, rounded side up, back into the bowl. Cover the top securely with plastic wrap. (I like to use a large rubber band to hold the plastic in place.) Let the covered dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

5. Using some of the melted butter, generously butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface (there’s no need to flour—the dough is soft but not sticky) and press to deflate it. Shape the dough into a 7-inch-wide round and place it, smooth side up, in the center of the prepared pan. Generously brush the top and sides with some of the melted butter. You may not need all the butter.

6. Let the dough rise (no need to cover it) in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 25 minutes. It will fill the pan.

7. About 15 minutes before the dough is ready to bake, position a rack in the middle of the oven and the oven to 375°F. When the dough has risen to about 2 inches above the edge of the pan, bake until the boule is well browned and sounds hollow when tapped about 40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack and tip the baked bread onto a rack and remove the pan. Set it right side up and let cool completely.


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