Stirato Bread Recipe

Hi, this is actually Alex, Heather’s husband, and I’m excited to be the first guest contributor to this blog! All I can say is, it’s about time :) . My wife was kind enough to check out an awesome book from the library titled In Search of the Perfect Loaf, by Samuel Fromartz. Lately, I’ve been on a bread making kick and as I’ve searched the world wide web for the “best” bread recipe, I’ve definitely stumbled on many, many recipes that claim to be the best french bread or the best sourdough recipe, etc. I’ve noticed that they also claim to be able to reward you with a loaf in about two hours, a little more in some cases. While I think that it’s a great idea if you’re in a hurry to make bread or even love using a bread machine, my personal opinion is to make bread using longer fermentation rises that bring out the flavor that the yeast is intended to provide. I’m new to baking, so I expect some backlash from the community on that subject, which is why I let Heather answer all the emails :) .

Anyway, as I’ve attempted various recipes, I only tried the ones that require the dough to rise at least twice, resulting in rise times of up to 9-12 hours depending on the temperature of our home! That’s hardly convenient for many people and I understand that. But, if you want to savor the flavor of what yeast can actually do, I highly recommend trying it out this way. I’ve heard many times from Heather and her friends that baking with yeast “scares” them. I can only assume from my own experience in trying this out, is that the dough can be under- or over fermented resulting in wide variations in texture and crumb. I’m not too technical of a guy, but I can definitely see where that can lead to frustration, especially if you’re trying to make this for a special occasion and you want it to turn out just right. Well, I can share with you a recent recipe from this book that I’ve modified slightly to fit our kitchen needs. Usually, I’m a by-the-book kind of guy and I don’t deviate from the written recipe, because I like to know if something turns out wrong, to minimize the variables. That’s how organic chemistry is helping me out today! Oh, I bet you never thought you’d use that course knowledge ever again! Anyway, Heather would also say that I’m long winded, so let’s get on with the recipe.

This is considered a good recipe for novice bakers and those who don’t want to use a sourdough starter.

You can do a search on the internet and find similar recipes that will recommend letting this rise for about 12-18 hours. I did it in 7, and it was awesome!


500 grams of unbleached all-purpose flour
375 grams of water @ 80F
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
10 grams salt


  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, water and yeast. Mix this with a wooden spatula or your wet hands for about 1 minute.
  2. Once mixed, make an imprint in the top of the dough to form a well, then place the salt into this well and cover the salt with about 1 tablespoon of water
  3. Cover the bowl and let it stand for 20 minutes
  4. Stretch and fold the dough into the center while in the bowl for about 1 minute or approximately 12 times
  5. Cover the bowl and let it stand for 20 minutes
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 three more times.
  7. Cover the bowl and let it rise for about 6-7 hours or until the dough has tripled in size.
  8. Dust your counter with flour and scrape the dough out onto the counter in one piece
  9. Shape the dough into a rectangle about 10 x 16 inches and divide lengthwise into 4 loaves. Transfer the loaves onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper. Cover the loaves with a light towel and allow them to rise for another 30-45 minutes
  10. Place a baking stone on the middle rack and preheat the oven to 470F for one hour prior to baking the loaves. Place a baking pan underneath the middle rack to hold the 1/2 cup of water that will be used to create the steam later on.
  11. Just before transferring the loaves onto the stone, stretch them out to the length of the baking stone (Stirato!) Then drag/transfer the loaves with the parchment paper onto the hot stone.
  12. Throw 1/2 cup of water onto the baking pan on the bottom to create steam (Be careful not to burn yourself during this action!)
  13. Close the door and bake for 18-22 minutes or until a golden brown
  14. Cool on a wire rack and then enjoy!