- 6-7 cups unbleached flour
- 2 tablespoons (packages) active dry yeast
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 ½ cups milk at room temperature
- ½ cup water at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons fresh herbs (optional), I like dill or rosemary
Oil two loaf pans and coat them evenly with corn meal, shaking out excess. Blend about half the flour with yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda. Add the milk and water. Stir until smooth, and then add optional fresh herbs and just enough flour to form a slightly sticky dough.
Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8-10 minutes, or in a stand mixer with a dough hook for 6 - 8 minutes adding additional flour only if the dough is too wet. Note: all yeast dough should be slightly sticky even after kneading. Don't be tempted to make the dough dry for easier handling, the bread will be tough.
Divide the kneaded dough into two pieces and place in the prepared pans. Refrigerate overnight loosely covered with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with oil. Remove from the refrigerator to return to room temperature about 45-60 minutes before baking.Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the rack in mid-oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Remove immediately from pans and cool on a rack. A great base for eggs Benedict and it makes the best toast!