- 2 cups warm water 105-110 degrees F
- 1 tbsp yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp salt
Baking Soda Bath
- 6 cups water
- 2 tbsp baking soda
- 1-2 TBS coarse sea salt
- 2 TBS butter melted
- Combine yeast, water, and sugar in the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Let stand for 5 minutes (until foamy).
- Once yeast is proofed, add milk/butter to yeast mixture and mix on low speed with dough hook until just combined.
- Add salt and flour and mix with dough hook until flour is fully incorporated.
- Knead in a mixer until the dough forms a slightly tacky, but firm ball, you may need to add a little more flour 1 TBS at a time, but be careful, you want your dough a little tacky but not too sticky to handle.
- Oil a large bowl, place the dough ball in the bowl, and cover with a damp towel in a warm place to let rise for one hour or until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, slowly add the baking soda a little bit at a time (Be careful not to add too much at once or you will have a baking soda/water explosion)!
- Remove the dough from the bowl and gently press out the air bubbles.
- Make two balls of dough the same size forming them into the shape you want (Do not let it rise at all here! Straight from forming the ball into the water).
- Drop one of the balls into the boiling baking soda water. Boil for 60-90 seconds on each side, turning it once to guarantee both sides covered. Drain the excess water from the dough and place it on an oiled baking sheet.
- Immediately sprinkle coarse sea salt over the bread to your specific tastes, and use a knife to cut a small "X" on the top of the bread.
- Repeat with second ball of dough. (Do not let it rise at all here! Straight from boiling into the oven).
- Bake the bread for 12-15 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once.
- Once removed from the oven, immediately brush the melted butter over the loaves to guarantee a soft crust. Transfer to a wire rack to cool just enough to enjoy!
If you have a bread maker…just add all ingredients to the pan in the order listed and set it to dough cycle, then proceed to Step 8! You can reheat the bread on a low temp covered in foil if you decide to make it a bit ahead of time. I cover it with a tea towel or something if I’m not going to serve it right away.