Creating a loaf of homemade bread can sometimes feel like voodoo, but pulling a hot, well risen, loaf of bread out of the oven does feel like magic! Making good bread is a mix of following a good recipe and also learning to trust your instinct. The temperature and humidity in your kitchen, the age of your yeast, and your brand of flour can all have significant impacts on the outcome of your bread. Over time you’ll learn to adjust to the environment, and the practicing is delicious!
Rustic Crusty Bread
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups
- Dutch Oven
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and knead within the bowl or on a well floured surface till it forms a cohesive ball (it will be fairly slack, but should remain in a single mass).
- Place dough in a greased bowl, cover, and place in warm area of your kitchen till doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.
- When dough is nearly done with the first rise, place dutch oven and lid in the oven, and preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
- Gently dump dough out from bowl onto a well floured surface and shape into a round loaf.
- Gently return shaped loaf to a well oiled bowl and cover, for the second rise. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.Carefully remove pre-heated dutch oven.
- CAREFULLY transfer the risen dough into the dutch oven. Cover the dutch oven with the (also hot) lid and return to oven. Cook, covered, for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes remove the dutch oven lid, and cook for another 10-15 minutes till crusty and brown all over.
- Carefully remove bread from oven and place loaf onto cooling rack.To keep bread as moist and soft as possible wait at least one hour before cutting.