Sheepherder's Bread

Makes 2 loaves

1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
2 tea. salt
3 C. water - 105-110º
2 packages active dry yeast
7-9 cups flour

Place butter, sugar - minus 2 tablespoons, and salt in large mixing bowl. Add 2 1/2 cups water and stir until butter is melted.

In a small bowl place 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons sugar, and yeast and stir. Let sit until the mixture is bubbly - about 10-15 minutes. Add to large mixing bowl.

Add flour - 1 cup at a time, stirring gently until a soft dough is formed. Turn out onto floured surface. Add flour, a cup at a time and knead into the dough. When dough is soft, elastic and NOT dry it has had enough flour.

Place in large mixing bowl that has been oiled. Oil top of dough. Cover with damp towel and place in warm place to rise. Let rise until double in bulk. About 1 1/2 hours.

Turn dough out onto work surface. Punch down. Divide in half and work until smooth. Note that the more you work the dough the more glutenous it becomes and the more dense.

Place on oiled baking sheets. Cover with damp towel and let rise until double in bulk. About 1 1/2 hours.

Bake at 350º for 30-35 minutes. Loaves should look light brown and sound hollow when done. Let cool before cutting.

While not truly medieval - this bread goes well with a medieval feast.


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Robin Berry being Sabrina de la Bere in the SCA