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Is there anything better than the smell of fresh baked bread on a cold winter day? Thanks to a major breakthrough by Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery, anyone, and I mean anyone, can easily bake fabulous loaves at home. Following is an adaptation of his now famous recipe. Don't be scared; you can do it.


-3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
- ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 1-2 Tbs Garlic Festival Organic Minced Roasted Garlic
- 2 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary (or dried) Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast, garlic, rosemary and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water , and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees. (sometimes I substitute chopped pickled garlic)
2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger. (I use a pillow case slid over a cookie sheet and fold the excess over the bread)
4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 430-450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
This is so delicious it's hard to not eat the whole loaf. makes GREAT grilled cheese sandwiches.

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