Hearth Bread



* 1 pound bread flour
* 1 teaspoon instant rapid rise yeast
* 2 teaspoons honey
* 10 ounces bottled or filtered water.
* 2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 2 quarts hot water
* Vegetable oil, for greasing the rising container
* 2 tablespoons cornmeal
* ⅓ cup water
* 1 tablespoon cornstarch


1. Combine 5 ounces of flour, ¼ teaspoon of yeast, honey, bottled water in a straight-sided plastic container.

2. Cover loosely and refrigerate for 8-12 hours.

3. Take out of the refrigerator, place it in the bowl of a stand mixer, add remaining 11 ounces of flour, remaining yeast, and all the salt.

4. knead mixture on low 2-3 minutes. Cover dough with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

5. After 20 minutes, knead dough on medium speed for
5-10 minutes.

6. While the dough is kneading, pour half of the hot water into a shallow pan and place on the bottom rack of your oven. This creates a warm, humid environment, which is perfect for the rising process.

7. Grease inside of a straight-sided container with vegetable oil. Place dough ball into container and set on the rack above pan of water.

8. Allow to rise until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.

9. Once the dough has doubled turn it onto counter top, dust your hands with flour, press the dough out with your knuckles; then fold 1 side in towards the middle of the mass and then the other. Repeat.

10. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for another 10 minutes.

11. After 10 minutes, flatten your dough again with your knuckles and then fold the dough in onto itself.

12. Turn the dough over and squeeze the bottom together so that the top surface of the dough is smooth.

13. Place the dough back onto the counter and begin to roll it gently between your hands.

14. Move the dough ball to a pizza peel that has been sprinkled with the cornmeal.

15. Cover with the kitchen towel and allow the dough to bench proof for 1 hour.

16. Place an unglazed terra cotta dish upside down into the oven and heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

17. Combine ⅓ cup of water and cornstarch in a small bowl.

18. Uncover the dough and brush the surface with this mixture.

19. Gently slash the top surface of the dough ball in several places, approximately ⅓ to ½-inch deep.

20. Add more of the hot water to the shallow pan in the oven if it has evaporated.

21. In your wood burning pizza oven, with a hearth temperature of around 500º, and the door in place, this bread should take about 20 minutes to cook.

22. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to sit for a minimum of 30 minutes before slicing.

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