Simple Crusty Bread

Monday, February 22nd, 2021

I used to bake a lot of bread, but eventually got out of the habit. Then the pandemic happened… and like everyone else, I suddenly had the time and need to again bake. But… if I’m going to take he time to bake bread, I might as well bake beautiful bread.

Crusty bread all baked and yummy

For the past few months, I had been following this simple crusty bread recipe. But as I experiment more, I have been noting tips and shortcuts. Here is a step by step:

Mix

This can all be done by hand, but if you have a mixer, it is even easier. Just add one ingredient after the next:

  • Add 1 1/4 cup of hot tap water, 1 tsp of honey, and one packet of yeast to a stand mixing bowl. Wait 5 minutes.
  • Using a bread hook, turn the mixer on slow and add 1 tsp salt.
  • Add all purpose flour slowly until the dough pulls away from the sides (2+ cups). It should still be quite sticky.
  • Scrape into center and coat around the edges with flour. Cover the bowl and let rise for 1 hour.

Shape

Time to get that perfect, round bread shape:

  • Carefully scrape the wet dough onto a heavily floured surface.
  • Pull the sides onto the top while slowly rotating. Sprinkle with four as needed. Continue until the loaf tightens up a bit.
  • Flip over into a heavily floured proofing bowl (or similar sized bowl). The ridges you just created from pulling should be on the bottom. Cover and let rise for 30 min.

Bake

For a crust, you need a bunch of humididty:

  • Preheat a 460 oven.
  • Choose a container: Oven safe crock pots, pizza stones/cast iron pans with a stainless mixing bowl dome all work.
  • Carefully flip the dough into the container and add a few ice cubes. Cover tightly and bake for 30 min.
  • Remove the lid and bake for an additional 10-15 min.

Don’t burn yourself on that first bite!

Leave a Reply

You know you want to...