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PEAL every shallot and finely dice them. On medium-low heat, heat up about 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil in the small saucepan, then add in the diced shallot. CARAMELIZE the shallots for about 20 minutes while giving them a stir now and then to prevent them from burning.
SEASON with salt and pepper. REMOVE them from the small saucepan and let them cool off completely after they've become nicely golden brown.
MIX all of the dough ingredients together in the bowl of your stand mixer. KNEAD using the dough hook attachment for about 15 to 20 minutes, until a smooth dough forms. You can of course knead this dough by hand, it's just more labour-intensive.
You'll notice that the dough is ready when it feels a bit sticky, but not too much. The caramelized shallots should be cooled off to room temperature by now, so let's mix those into the dough along with a handful of almond shavings.
LIGHTLY grease the big bowl with some olive oil. SHAPE the dough into a big ball and transfer it to the prepared bowl. COVER the bowl using plastic film or tin foil.
PLACE the bowl in a spot where the temperature is constant and let the dough rise for about an hour. The dough should double in volume over this period of time.
DUMP the dough on a lightly oiled kitchen countertop. If you're going to make two smaller loaves of bread, cut the large dough ball into two equal parts. Press the air out of both pieces and gently shape each piece into a ball.
COVER up both dough balls for about 25 to 30 minutes. LINE the baking tray with greaseproof paper. SPHERE the dough somewhat more rough and place them on the baking tray. Let the dough double in size for another 50 to 60 minutes.
You can tell if the dough has risen enough when you can feel slight resistance when gently poking it with your finger. If this is the case, pre-heat your oven to a temperature of 220 degrees Celsius (428 degrees Fahrenheit).
CUT both dough balls using a sharp knife multiple times. PLACE the baking tray containing both dough balls into the oven, place it at the lowest part of your oven. SPRAY the oven walls with some water, then bake for 2 more minutes.
Again, spray the oven walls with some water and close the oven doors. LOWER the temperature after 20 minutes to 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit).
BAKE both loaves of bread in 15 to 20 minutes golden brown. Let them cool off completely on a cooling rack before slicing them. Enjoy!