Have you ever tried to make bread on your own, and it didn’t turn out so great? It’s happened to me before, too! One time, I didn’t let my bread rise long enough, and it didn’t bake very well. When I cut the slashes in the top, it flattened out and didn’t look like the beautiful round loaf I had envisioned. 🤔 Don’t be discouraged; it takes practice to do any kind of baking well, especially bread. If you’re feeling discouraged with bread making, I encourage you to try this easy recipe for white mountain bread!
One of the best aspects of this loaf is that the dough is super easy to handle. It is sticky at first, but once you start kneading, it quickly becomes smooth and beautiful. Make sure to knead it for at least 10 minutes, though, to properly build up the gluten. A strong, well-developed gluten structure provides a framework for the yeast to produce carbon dioxide gas, which makes the bread rise. Gluten also gives bread a delightful chewiness and springy texture. Just knead, slap, pound, and throw the dough onto the counter to work out that gluten and make an awesome loaf. 🍞
This bread is also extremely versatile and can be used for both sweet and savory dishes! In just a couple minutes, you can turn this loaf into a really easy and impressive appetizer! Cut a circle out of the top of the baked loaf, pull out some of the inside, and spoon some spinach dip into the loaf. Save the pieces of bread you pulled out, and serve them with dip-stuffed loaf. You’ll want to try this super easy and crowd pleasing spinach dip to go inside the loaf. Yum!
Ready to improve your bread making skills with a delicious and easy recipe? Let’s get started!! 😊👩🍳👨🍳Print
Learn how to make this easy recipe for homemade white mountain bread! Its delightfully cracked crust and soft interior are easy to achieve, even for beginning bread bakers. Serve this mouthwatering bread with soup, in sandwiches, or just by itself!
- 1 1/4 cups filtered water (300 ml), plus more for spraying
- 5 cups bread flour (500g), plus more for dusting and decorating
- 2 teaspoons fine salt (10g)
- 3 teaspoons fast-action yeast (10g)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (25g)
- 2 tablespoons honey (42g)
Making the Dough (20 minutes + 1 hour proving)
- Warm the filtered water to 115 F.
- Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl. Stir in each with your finger.
- Add the butter, honey, and half of the water and begin to stir and crush the ingredients together to form a rough dough. Gradually add more water and mix by hand until all the flour has been picked up from the bowl and a somewhat sticky dough has formed. You may not need all the water.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is quite smooth, elastic, and no longer sticking to the work surface.
- Shape the dough into a ball, place in a buttered bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough prove for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in size.
Shaping the Loaf (5 minutes + 45 minutes proving)
- Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface that has not been floured. Punch it down all over to force out the large pockets of gas in the dough.
- Shape the dough into a rough circle, then gather up the edges and pinch them together tightly to seal. Turn the loaf over so the seam is underneath, then cup your hands around the loaf and turn it in a circle to shape it into a taut, circular loaf.
- Sprinkle a little flour onto a large, round baking stone and place the loaf on top. Put the stone inside of a clean garbage bag and tuck the ends under the tray to seal.
- Let the dough prove for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending upon the temperature of the room. The dough is ready to be baked when it springs back quickly when gently pressed with a fingertip.
- About 15 minutes before the dough is fully proved, preheat the oven to 425 F and put a metal baking pan in the oven to preheat.
Baking the Loaf (5 minutes + 35 minutes baking + 45 minutes cooling)
- Once the dough has proved, take the stone out of the garbage bag. Using a clean spray bottle, lightly spritz the loaf with filtered water, then gently rub it into the loaf. Sprinkle a little flour on the loaf and gently rub it all over the damp loaf. Score the loaf in a deep cross with a very sharp serrated knife or a lame.
- Slide the baking stone into the preheated oven and pour about 1-2 cups of water into the preheated metal tray. Immediately close the oven door.
- Bake the loaf for 35 minutes at 425 F, until the loaf is well browned and has an internal temperature of 200 F. Check the temperature using a meat thermometer.
- Let the loaf cool completely on a wire rack before serving. The crust should crack in places as it cools, giving it an attractive finish.
- The loaf’s proving time will heavily depend upon the temperature of the dough’s surroundings. Cool temperatures will slow down the yeast, while warm temperatures speed up the yeast. Be careful not to put the dough in a hot place, as it will cause the yeast to work too quickly and may kill it.
- Make this recipe even easier by making this bread in a loaf pan. Just shape the dough in a rectangle as wide as the long side of your loaf pan. Roll it up tightly, pinch the seam to seal, and place it seam side down in the pan. Proceed with the recipe as written below!