Instructions

  1. Mix and knead all of the ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a smooth, supple dough. Start with the smaller amount of water, adding additional if necessary.
  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise for 1 hour, until it's noticeably puffy.
  3. Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into an 8" log. Place it in a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" bread pan. Drape the pan lightly with greased plastic wrap, and let the loaf rise for about 1 1/2 hours, until it's crowned about 1" over the rim of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  4. Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, or until it's golden brown, and a digital thermometer inserted into the center register at least 190°F. Remove it from the oven, and turn it out onto a rack to cool.