Easy Crusty Bread
One of the ladies in my watercolor class told me about this and I had to try it because I LOVE crusty bread. I think that is the one thing I miss the most of our time in Europe. I could have great fresh crusty bread or rolls every day.
3 cups of aerated (stirred up and loose before measuring) flour of your choice All Purpose, Bread Flour or Whole Wheat)
1/4 tsp yeast, active dry or instant
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups of very hot water (130F Max)
- In a large bowl, add flour, yeast salt, and water and stir with a spoon until the dough holds together in kind of a shaggy sort-away
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest on the kitchen counter for 3 hours.
- With 2-3 Tbs of flour, flour the work surface and the ball of dough.
- Using a scraper fold dough over 10-12 times with the added flour until it holds together in a ball.
- Place the dough ball on a piece of parchment paper lined bowl and cover with a towel. Let stand for 35 minutes while the oven comes up to temp.
- Place a large Dutch oven in your oven and let it heat to 450F (check it with an oven thermometer, if you can)
- Remove the Dutch oven from the oven from oven. Remove the lid and lower the dough ball in the parchment paper into the hot Dutch oven replace the lid and return the Dutch oven to over and cook covered for 30 minutes
- Remove the Dutch oven lid and bread in parchment paper. Discard parchment paper return the loaf to the Dutch oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes based upon how hard and dark you want your crust to be.
- Remove the Dutch oven from the oven, remove the bread from the Dutch oven, and place on a wire rack to cool.
Enjoy your freshly baked crusty bread with some pasta or a nice cup of stew or soup.