Three-pound Diamondback Loaf
  1. Mix water with yeast, sugar oil and salt until yeast dissolves.
  2. Blend in about 1/4 of the flour and beat 300 strokes by hand with a wooden spoon. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Mix in the rest of the flour and knead until elastic and smooth but somewhat sticky to the touch, about 10 minutes.
  4. Let rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down and roll out in sausage shape on butter baking sheet. Let rise again, about 45 minutes. With very sharp knife or razor, slash about four shallow cuts on the diagonal. Slash another series across the first, making a diamond pattern.
  5. Place into a preheated 400° oven and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from sheet and bake directly on rack until loaf sounds hollow when thumped, about five minutes.