This is a no fail recipe with a crusty, warm reward.
Joan Namkoong, a driving force behind all good things food related in Hawaii, adapted this recipe from Jim Lehay’s (Sullivan Street Bakery) original recipe. Joan is the author of several cookbooks, including Korean Cooking in Hawaii and the visionary who started the KCC Farmer’s Market. Committed to elevating the skills and knowledge of culinary students and professionals in Hawaii through the Hawaii Culinary Foundation, Hawaii wouldn’t taste the same without her. – Melanie Kosaka
3 cups bread flour
1/4 tsp. instant yeast
2 tsp. salt
1 1/3- 1 1/2 cups water
Joan’s go-to yeast is Saf Instant Yeast. Fleischmann’s also makes an instant yeast that is available in packets or in a jar at most supermarkets. The main thing is to use instant yeast and not traditional or cake yeast. Preferred flour is King Arthur, unbleached bread flour.
If you add wheat germ, add a little more liquid. You want the dough to be moist but shaggy (rough looking); not too moist because it will be difficult to handle. Remember the dough becomes more “liquid” after it’s long rise. The “softer” and “more liquid” the dough is, the more holes you’ll have in the finished product.
Joan notes almost any type of baking dish will work. A 4-quart cast iron Dutch oven works well. For a crisp crust be sure to preheat your baking dish.
Swaps & Adds
All purpose flour works in place of bread flour and Joan often adds a 1/2 cup of wheat germ.
Method: Mix the ingredients together. The dough should be shaggy. Cover with plastic wrap and let ferment in a warm area for 12 – 19 hours. After fermentation shape into a ball and let rest for a second fermentation for 1 1/2 hours. When there is 30 minutes remaining on your second fermentation, preheat your oven to 450 degrees and while you preheat the oven, preheat your baking dish.
When the dough has finished its second fermentation, carefully take the preheated dish out of the oven and remove the lid. Place the dough in the dish, by sliding your hand under the dough and quickly dropping the dough into the dish. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove lid and bake for an 15 additional minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
After baking, cool on a rack. Allow to cool to almost room temperature before slicing. Use a sharp serrated knife.
Photo credits: Adrianna Torres Chong, sliced bread, Megan Tomino, bread making process