Southwest Pueblo Bread

Southwest Pueblo Bread

In the Southwest, Pueblo Indians bake slashed basic white loaves in dome-shaped adobe ovens. Over the years, Sunset has given directions for many ways to make both the bread and the oven. This recipe, from 1965, is for a conventional oven.

1 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm (110 degrees F) water
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon melted and cooled butter or margarine
2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Sprinkle yeast over water and sugar; let stand until yeast is softened, about 5 minutes.
Add salt, butter, and flour; mix well and knead 5 minutes.

Let dough rise 45 minutes to 1 hour; knead on a lightly floured board to expel air bubbles and form a smooth ball.

Pat ball to flatten slightly. Roll into an 8-inch-wide round. Dust top lightly with flour; fold about the round onto other side, leaving about 1 inch of bottom rim exposed at center of curve.

With a floured knife, make 2 equidistant cuts about 2/3 of the way across loaf from curved side and down through dough.

Lift loaf into an oiled 9-inch pie pan; spread cuts apart so ends of loaf are flush with pan rim. Lightly cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until puffy, 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove wrap. Bake in a 375 degrees F oven until bread is deep golden brown, about 50 minutes. Serve hot or cool; to cool, transfer from pan to a rack.

Makes 1 loaf, about 14 ounces.

Source: Sunset Magazine, 1993