The best Bread in the World, by taste:
Wroclaw Trencher Bread
In Poland, the use of trenchers was popular in the Middle Ages. The Polish city of Wroclaw kept bread laws that specified how this bread would be made. In her book Food and Drink in Medieval Poland, Maria Dembinska has used their records to recreate the recipe for this bread:
8 cups (1kg) of stone ground rye flour
7 cups (875g) of stone ground spelt or whole club wheat flour
2 cups (500ml) thick beer
1 cup (250 ml) active beer barm or 1/2 ounce (14g) dry yeast proofed in 1 cup (250 ml) lukewarm water
4 cups (1 litre) water at room temperature
2 tablespoons of salt
Directions: Combine the flours in a mixing bowl. Measure out 7 1/2 cups (950g) and put this in a large work bowl or bread through. Combine the thick beer, yeast and water. Add this to the flour and stir to create a slurry. Cover and let stand overnight until foamy. Combine the salt with the remaining flour, and stir down the slurry. Add the salted flour to the slurry and knead into a ball of dough on a well-floured work surface. Knead for at least 20 minutes, vigorously striking the dough from time to time with a bat or long rolling pin to break down the glutten. Set aside, cover, and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk. When it is fully risen, knock down and knead again, breaking it with a bat or rolling pin as before. When the dough is soft and spongy, mold it out into 9 or 10 round loaves (each about 12 ounces or 375 g to allow for water loss during baking). Cover and let the loaves rise in a warm place until they are roughly 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter.
While the loaves are rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (250 degrees C). When the loaves are fully risen, set them on a greased pizza sheets and cut a small sign of the cross or some other preferred pattern into the top of each loaf. Set the loaves in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F and finish baking the bread for 10 to 20 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a rack. Do not cut the bread until it is room temperature.
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