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BASQUE SHEEPHERDER'S BREAD

3 cups very hot tap water
1/2 cup (1/4 lb) butter or margarine
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 pkg active dry yeast
9 to 9 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Salad oil

In a large bowl, combine hot water, butter, sugar, and salt. Stir
until butter has melted; let cool to about 110 degrees. Stir in
yeast, cover, and set in a warm place until bubbly (about 15
minutes).

Beat in about 5 cups of the flour to make a thick batter. Stir in
enough of the remaining flour (about 3 1/2 cups) to make a stiff
dough. Turn dough out onto a floured board; knead until smooth
and satiny (10 to 20 minutes), adding flour as needed to prevent
sticking. Place dough in a greased bowl; turn over to grease top.
Cover and let rise until doubled (about 1 1/2 hours).

Punch dough down and knead briefly on a floured board to release
air; shape into a smooth ball. With a circle of foil, cover the
inside bottom of a 5-quart cast-iron or cast-aluminum Dutch oven.
Grease foil, inside of Dutch oven, and underside of lid with salad
oil.

Place dough in Dutch oven and cover with lid. Let rise in a warm
place until dough pushes up lid by about 1/2 inch (about 1 hour --
watch closely).

Bake, covered with lid, in a preheated 375 degree oven for 12
minutes. Remove lid and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes or until
loaf is golden brown. Remove from oven and turn out onto a rack
to cool. Peel off foil and turn loaf upright. Makes 1 very large
loaf.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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Friday Breakfast, October 22, 2004 - 12:00 PM
Reviewer: Dave D from Salt Lake City, UT
Made it for our team at work. Huge loaf, very tasty with a yeast flavor and good texture.

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