Basque Sheepherder's Bread
|Hot tap water||3 Cup (48 tbs) (Very Hot)|
|Butter/Margarine||1⁄4 Pound (1/2 Cup)|
|Sugar||1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)|
|Salt||2 1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Active dry yeast||1⁄2 Ounce (2 Packages)|
|All-purpose flour||9 1⁄2 Cup (152 tbs), unsifted|
In a large bowl, combine hot water, butter, sugar, and salt.
Stir until butter melts; let cool to about 110°.
Stir in yeast, cover, and set in a warm place until bubbly (about 15 minutes).
Beat in about 5 cups of the flour to make a thick batter.
Stir in enough of the remaining flour (about 3 1/2 cups) to make a stiff dough.
Turn dough out onto a floured board; knead until smooth and satiny (10 to 20 minutes), adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Turn dough over in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 1/2 hours).
Punch dough down and knead on a floured board to form a smooth ball.
With a circle of foil, cover the inside bottom of Dutch oven.
Grease foil, inside of Dutch oven, and underside of lid with salad oil.
Place dough in pot and cover with lid.
Let rise in a warm place until dough pushes up lid by about 1/2 inch (about 1 hour watch closely).
Bake, covered with lid, in a 375° oven for 12 minutes.
Remove lid and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
Remove from oven and turn loaf out (you'll need a helper) onto a rack to cool.
Peel off foil.