- 1 (2-1/4 tsp.) envelope Fleischmann's® Traditional Yeast
- ¼ cup warm water (100°F to 110°F)
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 teaspoons Fleischmann's® Bread Booster
- 1-½ teaspoons salt
- 1-¾ cups room temperature water
- 1-1/2 tablespoons Mazola® Right Blend Oil
- 3 ice cubes
- Dissolve yeast and sugar in ¼ cup warm water in a small bowl; let stand 3 to 5 minutes or until frothy. Place flour, Bread Booster and salt in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Pour yeast mixture, room temperature water and oil into dry ingredients. Mix 5 to 7 minutes on high speed of electric mixer, or until dough pulls away from bowl. Mix 1 minute longer. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 40 minutes in a warm draft-free area.
- Uncover dough, using oiled hands to prevent sticking, scoop underneath half of the dough, lift one side of dough up and fold over to other side of bowl*. Replace plastic wrap over dough and let rise for 20 minutes. Prepare a baking sheet by greasing with Canola oil baking spray and then cover with parchment paper. (To prevent the paper from sliding while shaping the loaves).
- With oiled hands, pour dough out onto the prepared baking sheet. Using a sharp, oiled knife, divide dough in half and gently separate into two pieces (dough will be very wet and sticky). Handle dough carefully so as not to lose air bubbles. Shape each piece into an oval approximately 9 x 5 inches, leaving as much space between each loaf as possible. Lightly press fingers into dough (about 1/4-inch deep) to make indents, approximately 12 indents per loaf**. Loosely cover each loaf with oiled plastic wrap to prevent sticking. Let rise 20 minutes.
- Again, press indents into dough and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Let dough rise an additional 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 450°F, place an oven-proof pan on the bottom rack (for ice cubes later).
- After final rest, take plastic wrap off and lightly poke indents in dough. Place in preheated oven, add ice cubes to lower tray and lower temperature to 425°F, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until crust is dark golden brown and internal temperature reaches 190°F.
- Optional: To create a thick, chewy crust, remove baked bread from baking sheet and place directly onto hot oven rack. Turn oven off. Crack oven door to let hot air slowly escape. Allow bread to cool to room temperature in oven before removing.
Folding the dough over halfway will distribute the yeast and allow it to feed more easily and allows for the release of built up carbon dioxide.
Poking indents give the bread a rustic look and also contributes to the release of carbon dioxide build-up and yeast distribution, creating large open bubbles in the loaf.