Fresh Bread

9 Oct

There is no smell in the world quite like the smell of homemade bread baking in the oven.

bread

And now that most people have traded their popsicles and fruit salads for pumpkin and hot beveragaes I thought I would give all you wonderful people a super easy recipe for homemade bread.  And the best part is it doesn’t require a bread machine or kneeding.

I want to get better at making bread, fancy bread with sunflower seeds and cranberries in it or even rye bread.  Some day I will be a bread superstar.  But until then I will make this bread and my family will think I am awesome because they don’t know any better =)

Ingredients:

3 cups flour

1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups water

1.  Mix: In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt.  Stir in water.  Don’t fret over the shaggy. sticky dough.

2.  Rest: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rest at room temperature for at least 12 hours, preferably 18.  Dough is ready when dotted with bubbles.

3.  Deflate: Lightly flour a wrok surface and scoop dough onto it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it once or twice.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let rest 15 minutes.

4.  Shape:  Dust dough lightly with flour; gently and quickly shape into a ball.  Coat a cotton towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal.  Put dough seam side down on a towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal.  Cover with another towel and let rise for 2 hours.  When it is ready, dough will have doubled and will not readily spring back when poked.

5.  Bake:  At least half an hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees.  Put a 4- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats.  Carefully slide pot out of oven.  Pull off top towel.  Slip hand under bottom towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up.  Cover pot with lid and bake 30 minutes.  Remove lid and bake another 10 minutes, until beautifully browned.  Cool on rack (yeah right- I don’t have the patience for that!  I am diving right in!).

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