Friday, January 16, 2009

Simple Crusty Bread

Here we go...it's bread time!
Gather these ingredients:
1-1/2 tablespoons yeast
1-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
3 cups lukewarm water
6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough
Cornmeal
and this equipment:
pizza peel (or the bottom of a cookie sheet works great too)
baking stone (or a non-stick loaf pan)
large bowl or plastic container
I love these plastic containers from Sam's Club:
Let's get started:
In a large bowl or plastic container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees).
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)
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 a serrated knife (sometimes I break the rules and just tear a piece off).
Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom.
Put dough on piza peel sprinkled with cornmeal, let rest 40 minutes.
Repeat with remaining dough, or refrigerate it.
Place broiler pan (or some other low, long pan) on bottom of ofen.
Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.
Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife 3 times.
Slide dough onto stone.
Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam.
Bake until browned, about 30 minutes.
Cool completely (as if....slice and eat right away!)
Yield:  4 loaves.
Dinner last night!
Variation:  if not using a 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 mintues.
Place pan on middle rack.
Now...go bake bread and heat the house at the same time!  It's wonderful
This recipe was originally given to me by my amazing sister-in-law, Sandy. 
Then it was given to me from my friend Dennis, after I tasted it at his house.
Then I finally made it. 
Then I bought the cookbook:  
Fresh out of the oven and sliced....you can't see it, but the bread is steaming!

2 comments:

  1. Looks yummy Cheri :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mmmm bread....(said in your best Homer Simpson voice).

    We are so ready to make this because we've been cranking out homemade pizza like crazy the past couple weeks. Pizza peel, stone, cornmeal and all.

    ReplyDelete

Stop back to read my response :)
Your comment may not appear right away.