Another discovery that quickly became a success! This crusty bread of the Pueblo Indians is still baked today in beehive shaped ovens. The round loaves are often decorated with symbols for special occasions. As for me, I use my big ole kitchen oven and forget the decorations---but hey, it tastes just as terrific!!! One note---this is best made using a stand mixer because of the amount of flour, especially if you use bread flour.

2 cups whole wheat flour, medium grind
1/4 cup sugar
5 teaspoons Lora Brody's Dough Enhancer -- optional but good *
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1/4 cup vegetable shortening or vegetable oil
2 cups warm water, 100-110 deg.F. (bottleld spring water preferred)
3 - 4 cups unbleached bread flour or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt (fine sea salt or kosher salt preferred)

MIXER METHOD: In a large mixing bowl, place whole wheat flour, sugar, dough enhancer if using, yeast and shortening; use the paddle attachment to mix on low speed until well-combined. Add warm water and beat for 1 minute. Stir in 3 cups of bread flour and mix on low speed until the dough forms a soft ball. Change to the dough hook and knead on medium speed about 5 minutes, adding only enough additional bread flour to make a manageable dough. The dough should have pulled away from the sides of the bowl but can still stick to the bottom of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a floured board let it rest 10 minutes, covered with a towel. Knead the dough an additional 4-5 minutes or until the dough is soft and pliable, tacky but not sticky. Place in lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature (72 deg.F.) 45-60 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Spray a large baking sheet with olive oil PAM and set aside. Gently deflate the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured board. Use a bench knife to divide in half and let rest 5 minutes. Shape each half into a round (boule), stretching the dough across the top and tucking under; place the boules on opposite corners of the cookie sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place 40-50 minutes or until almost doubled.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F. Using a lame or sharp knnife, make 1/2 inch deep slashes across each loaf (in lattice design if desired). Sprinkle each loaf lightly with bread flour. Bake 35-40 minutes until loaves are deep, golden brown and register 200 degrees on an instant thermometer. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Yields 2 loaves

MANUAL METHOD: Follow the above instructions, kneading the dough by hand about 10-12 minutes.

* The flour and dough enhancer can be obtained on-line from King Arthur Flour Company

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Copyright 2003 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved