This is a recipe my mother gave me once I told her I wanted to learn to bake. It was the simplest one she had - one I believe came from a magazine, though she can't find the actual recipe anymore.
MAKES: One 7 ½-inch (19cm) round loaf
- 1 pint glass (2 ½ cups / 300g) all-purpose flour
- 1 pint glass (2 ½ cups / 300g) stone-ground whole wheat flour
- ¾ tsp (3.75g) baking soda (AKA enough to coat the bottom of a pint glass)
- ¾ tsp (3.75g) salt (AKA enough to coat the bottom of a pint glass)
- 1 tbsp (15g) butter (AKA enough to coat the bottom of a pint glass)
- ¾ pint glass (1 ¾ cup / 413mL) buttermilk
1. Heat oven to 375F (190C).
2. Sprinkle 1 tsp (5g) of the all-purpose flour over the center of a baking sheet and set aside.
3. Put 2 tsp (10g) of the all-purpose flour in a small bowl and set aside.
4. Meanwhile, put the remaining all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and mix well with your hands.
5. Add butter, breaking it up into small pieces with your fingers, and mix until combined.
6. Mell a well in the center of the flour mixture and add buttermilk. Slowly incorporate into flour mixture with your hands until a rough ball forms, then turn out onto a floured surface and form into a neat ball, without kneading.
7. Transfer dough to center of baking sheet and press gently to form a 7 ½ inch (19cm)-wide round. Using a sharp knife, slash a cross ½-inch (1.3cm) deep across the entire top of the load and dust top of load with the reserved flour.
8. Bake until bread is light golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, about 70 minutes. Wrap bread in a clean kitchen towel, prop against windowsill, and allow to cool for about two hours.