Easy Crusty Bread

February 11, 2018

What you’re looking at is my 2nd loaf – kind of. The first attempt at making this dough ended up with me somehow getting dead yeast or killing my yeast. I think the later of that is more likely. LOL But my 2nd go at making the dough did rise, and the result was quite delicious. I was shocked! But happy that I can now say I can make bread.

But if you’re looking for a quickie recipe to make some good bread, look no further than this one I got from The New York Times:

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ tablespoons yeast
  • 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • 6 ½ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough
  • Cornmeal

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl or plastic container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). *Important – make sure water isn’t too hot or cold. It’s a Goldilocks thing. Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).
  2. Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and cut off a grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it. If you don’t have cornmeal, you can place loaf on to parchment paper and slide it right on your stone or cookie sheet.
  3. Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.
  4. Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Tip

  • Variation: If not using stone, stretch rounded dough into oval and place in a greased, nonstick loaf pan. Let rest 40 minutes if fresh, an extra hour if refrigerated. Heat oven to 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Place pan on middle rack.

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