Preparation time: 30 minutes + 1 hour
Baking time: 18 minutes
The secret to making the bread rise is to place the dough in the oven with a pan of water to create a little humidity, and then to close the oven door. This replicates the conditions of a professional proofer and protects the dough against drafts and temperature changes.
- In a large bowl, combine the flours, yeast and water, warmed to 26° C (80° F). Mix well, incorporating the salt at the end. The dough must be worked and kneaded on a work surface for 20 minutes to give it the necessary body.
- Let the dough rise for 30 minutes; punch down and cut into squares or form balls; sprinkle with flour.
- Let rise a second time for about 1 hour at room temperature, covering the bread with a kitchen towel to keep it from forming a crust (or place in the oven as described above.)
- Just before baking, score the tops of the bread with a sharp knife or razor blade.
- Combine the finely chopped basil and olive oil; generously brush this mixture over the bread. .
- Place into a preheated 220° C (440° F) oven. Reduce the temperature to 190° C (380° F) and throw a small amount of water onto the bottom of the oven to create steam. Bake for about 18 minutes or until the bread is nicely browned.
Basil bread in center of photo
A recipe from Philippe Le bail, pastry chef of the Hotel Belvedere in Porto-Vecchio
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