Classic Dev

Peasant Bread above 5000ft

I wanted to share a modified peasant bread recpie that I use at our higher elevation. I have already gone through a whole 25lb bag of flour with this recipe alone and don't expect to slow down. The crust is nice and crispy and has a nice density to it. If you want to follow my specific weights I use these rechargeable scales. This link is unaffiliated but I don't want to send you off to a seller I haven't bought from personally. Keep in mind I scoop right from the bag so the weight ends up closer to nine cups or so, otherwise when measuring these scoop from the bag and level with the flat edge of a butter knife.

We have two of the usb rechargeable units and while I do not have another scale to compare with they match eachother in testing. It is most important to weigh the flour; I only weigh all the other dry ingredients for the sake of expediency.

Peasant Bread

In a small bowl place yeast, a 1/4 tsp of the sugar (around one gram) and 1/4 cup of the warm water, stir gently and let sit for 10-15 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine well flour, salt and remaining sugar. Note that I like to have batches of flour, salt and sugar premixed in bags since I bake this recipe so often. One gallon bags work great for this if you don't have reusable containers handy for this purpose.

Have ready remaining warm water and add yeast to bowl and combine to make a ball of still sticky dough. I do this by hand with a danish dough whisk in a 13 quart stainless steel bowl that is older than I am. I use the large glass lid from an electric wok to cover this and let it rise 90 to 120 minutes at most. Since we use warm water all the way through we can usually shorten this to an hour, basically where it starts to touch the lid.

Deflate and divide in half, placing each slightly smoothed half in a well greased loaf pan. Glove up and use vegetable shortening here. Don't skimp on this and be sure to get the top edge as well, you won't be sorry. I haven't had a single batch stick when removing them from the pans.

Let rise again until at or above the pan rim. Have your oven preheated at 450 degrees and bake for fifteen minutes. Reduce to 400 and continue baking until golden brown and hollow sounding, about 35 minutes. Remove to rack and let cool before slicing. At least 20 minutes but we go sometimes a whole hour. In our case we slice the loaves and freeze, pulling out what we use. This works great in our case and never have to deal with any friends growing.

two loaves of peasant bread on a cooling rack

If you are in need of a large bread knife consider our link here, we've been using it for awhile now.

bread knife