Golden European Boule
from Gild a Lily Cookbook
by Marilyn Byer

Golden European Boule Makes: 1 Boule. Serves: 4-6 people. Preparation time: Start 12-24 hours ahead.

Briefly mix the flour, salt, yeast and water in a bowl with a wooden spoon until you have a shaggy ball. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature 12-24 hours.

About 1½ hours before serving, tip the dough out onto a floured board. Quickly form it into a ball ("Boule"). Pull the edges up over the top. Then allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450°.

Spray your casserole dish with non-stick spray and pre-heat it in the oven a few minutes. Using floured hands, lift the dough ball and put it in the hot casserole dish. Cut a shallow "X" onto the top of the dough ball. Bake with the lid on for 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and continue baking 10-15 minutes more, until the bread is golden brown.

Allow the bread to cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before removing and slicing thin. The bread will be dense, chewy and crusty. Butter to taste.

"Boule" - Not only a French game of lawn bowling (Boules), but any item shaped like a ball. A Loaf would be called "Miche" and a Long Loaf, a "Baguette" (a Stick) in French. Boule is a traditional French Bread and often made with wild yeast for a sourdough flavor. The name of this bread is the reason a bread baker is referred to as a "Boulanger" in French and a Bread Bakery, a "Boulangerie".

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