Can I ask? What is better than bread? HOMEMADE BREAD! I have found a bread recipe/technique that I have finally mastered and I couldn't wait to share it with ya'll. I am new to bread-making, but my husband has told me that he now prefers my homemade bread over anything store bought. It might help that he loves me, but hey, I'll take it! This recipe is so simple and there is no kneading involved. Just mix the dough, let it rise, bake and enjoy!
Here's my recipe:
3 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and yeast. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in warm water.
Mix together just until combined, but be careful not to over mix. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise anywhere from 8-20 hours. There is plenty of wiggle room with this bread dough. I have made the dough at night and baked it the next afternoon. I have also made the dough in the early morning and baked it later that night. What I LOVE about this recipe is that it can cater to your schedule!
The dough will be nice an bubbly at this point! Next, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is warming up, lightly dust a cutting board or counter top with flour and scrape the dough onto the surface. Flour your hands and gently fold the dough into a ball. There is no need to knead the dough, just enough contact to shape the dough.
There are two options for this next step. This recipe originally called to bake the bread in a large dutch oven. It would be a DREAM to own a dutch oven, however I had to improvise. I wanted more of a loaf style bread so I chose a traditional rectangle loaf pan. If using a loaf pan, line the pan with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
Hint: If using a loaf style pan (like myself), shape dough into more of an oval. This will help the baking process!
Place dough into loaf pan (or dutch oven if you are lucky enough to have one!). Using a sharp knife, score the bread dough. Scoring (slashing) the bread dough before baking will create weak spots in the bread's crust, allowing for expansion instead of burst seams.
Bake uncovered for 35 minutes followed by 20-25 minutes covered with foil. By this time, the dough should have a nice golden brown crust. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Hint: When first making this bread, I used a serrated bread knife to cut the dough and that was a huge mistake. This bread cuts better with a sharp non-serrated knife.
For those of you who already have a signature bread recipe, PLEASE share your tips and tricks! I am always up for learning something new. For those of you who don't, try this recipe and let me know what you think!