For 2 loaves of bread:
- 2-1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1-1/2 cups warm water (about 100 degrees)
- 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the dough
For 3 loaves of bread:
- 1 Tablespoon plus 3/8 teaspoon instant yeast (just do a scant 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1 Tablespoon plus 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt (just do a scant 1/2 teaspoon)
- 2-1/4 cups warm water (about 100 degrees)
- 4-3/4 cups plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting dough
For 4 loaves of bread:
- 1.5 Tablespoons instant yeast
- 1.5 Tablespoons kosher salt
- 3 cups warm water (about 100 degrees)
- 6.5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting dough
For salty honey butter:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
- about 2 Tablespoons of honey, or to taste
- about 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (a pinch), or to taste
- Mix yeast and salt into the water in a large bowl, reserving a couple tablespoons of the water. Stir in flour and mix until a shaggy, loose dough ball forms and all of the flour is incorporated. Add the reserved water if you need it to incorporate the flour. You don’t want the dough to be so wet that it’s hard to shape later.
- Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise at room temperature for about 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).
- You can bake it right away or cover and refrigerate the risen dough for up to a week! To bake at this point, sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour and cut it in half (if making 2 loaves). Form each piece into a boule by stretching it lightly in your hands and tucking the ends under until you have a round ball with a smooth top and a lumpy, pinched-together bottom. Place each ball on a lightly floured baking sheet, giving them room to grow and spread out a bit. Cover the dough balls with a towel and let them rise again for about 40 minutes (if the dough has been refrigerated, increase this rising time to 1 hour!) while you place a broiler pan in the bottom rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 450.
- Dust the dough with a little flour and cut a few slashes in the top with a sharp knife (I use my serrated bread knife). Open the oven and slide out the bottom rack. Pour one cup of hot water into the broiler pan, then slide that rack back in as you put the bread pan on the middle rack and quickly close the oven door to trap the steam. Bake for 30 minutes until the loaves are well-browned. I recommend checking the bread after 20 minutes, and if it’s already brown, tent each loaf loosely with foil (I just drape a piece right on top).
- To make the salty honey butter, mix butter, honey, and kosher salt by hand, or whip it with a mixer. Slather it generously onto warm slices of bread!