Boule, comes from the French meaning “ball”. This bread resembles a squashed ball. It is a rustic bread with a crusty exterior and a soft interior. It is traditionally known as Boule but it is also known as peasant or artisan bread. Of course I like the sound of artisan bread. You can create all of these pretty little designs on top by cutting it with a knife right before it goes in the oven.
It is reported at the time of the French Revolution in the late 1700’s, that the average Frenchman ate three pounds of bread a day. Riots could result if bread supplies ran low. I don’t know about you but I can totally relate to this.
Once again, I had so much fun making this bread. I have learned that breads do not have to be scary. I think most people are scared of the yeast and the whole rising of the bread thing….or at least it was a little scary for me. The only problems that I have had is with my oven. It seems to cook things a little faster than most. So I just make sure I watch it closely.
I can’t wait to make some more of this bread and get more creative with the designs on top!
3 c lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tbsp coarse salt
6 1/2 c unsifted, all purpose flour
In a bowl, pour in the lukwarm water, then add yeast and salt. Add all of the flour at once. Mix with a dough hook (kneading is not necessary-just mix until ingredients are incorporated).
Pour dough into a large greased bowl, cover and let rise for 2 hours.
After dough has risen, sprinkle the surface and hands with flour. Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Stretch surface of dough, turning and tucking under bottom. Shape until nice and smooth and outer surface is tight. Place on lined baking sheet or a baking stone. Allow each dough ball to rest 40 minutes. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450F. Place a broiler tray with water on a shelf that doesn’t interfere with the bread. Dust the tops of each loaf with flour, seeds, rolled oats, whatever you like. Make several slashes 1/4- inch deep on tops. After a twenty minute preheat, put loaves in the oven and close door quickly. Bake 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing.
This recipe adapted from www.girlversusdough.com .