Archived Story

(Easy) Crusty Bread

Published 1:53pm Friday, November 9, 2012

 

I love to cook, but I’m not much of a baker.  Seems that baking takes too much time.  And especially breads.  All that waiting for the rise, and kneading the dough, and waiting, and kneading again…just not my thing.  So, when I found a recipe for bread that required NO KNEADING – I just had to give it a try.

It was SO easy.  Just mix up the ingredients, took about 10 minutes.  Then you just cover and let it sit.  Wait 12-16 hours, flip it out and into a hot pan and bake it.  And the bread is delicious!  Thinking this might be a few Christmas gifts this year….

 Crusty Bread

(makes one loaf – easily doubled to make two)

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 degrees.  When the oven has reached 450 degrees place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.  Now, I don’t own a cast iron pot.  I have two “casseroles” that were passed down from my mom.  They had lids…and worked great.  Any pot with a lid that can handle the 450 degree heat will do just fine.

Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball.  The dough is very sticky.  Flour your hands well before trying to work with it.

Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating in the oven.  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 an additional 15 minutes.  Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.

 

______

 

I doubled the batch – then divided and added in to one loaf:

1 cup shredded asiago/parmasean cheese blend

1 tbls garlic salt

1 tbls parsley

 

To the other loaf I added:

 

¾ cup dried cranberries

Zest from one whole orange

½ cup sliced almonds

 

Other recommendations:

*Plain.

*Pumpkin, sunflower and poppy seeds.

*Cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)

*1 ¼ cup shredded Gruyere cheese, zest from one lemon,  chopped fresh rosemary

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