Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Easy Crusty Bread

I love really good artisan bread.  Give me good bread and water and I would not have any complaints.
Carbs are my downfall.  Imagine my delight when I found this http://simplysogood.blogspot.com/2010/03/crusty-bread.html
 on Pinterest. It was like a dream come true!  Could it really be so simple?  I have always been intimidated by yeast.  The water is either too hot or too cold, the yeast doesn't proof and whole batch of bread is ruined. The whole process is so labor intensive and takes so much of your day.  Not anymore.  You have no reason to purchase an expensive loaf of artisan bread ever again. You can have fresh bread everyday.  This has to be the easiest recipe with the greatest reward.  Do yourself a favor and triple the recipe, because you will love this bread.

Crusty Bread
 (makes one 1 1/2 lb loaf)

 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
 1 1/2 cups water

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast.  Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms.    Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12- 18 hours. Overnight works great. Heat oven to 450.  When the oven reaches 450 degrees place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball.   Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating.  Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough.  Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool

Mix dry ingredients. Other additions can be added at this time (nuts, raisins, spices, cheese).  

Add water (straight from the tap, no need to check the temperature) and mix until shaggy.  Cover and let it sit on your counter for 12-18 hours.

It will look something like this after 12 hours. Pour it out onto a well floured surface. I floured a piece of parchment paper, which also helped me transfer it to the pot and remove it.

Cover and let rest until pot is hot.


I still can not believe that this is what you see when you take the lid off of the pot. This is the bread I have dreamed about.  I am making raisin cinnamon bread tonight. 

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