Saturday, August 4, 2012

Crusty Bread

Dear Lauren,


I've never made a loaf of bread from scratch unless you count my bread machine days 20 years ago. I don't even remember how that worked. Did you touch the dough? I don't think so. I think you just dumped the ingredients in the machine and at some point later you had bread. I don't recall it being very amazing bread and I no longer have the machine.

Dad's made some bread over the last few years since he started baking. Mixed results and no Oh Wow moments.

Did you see the picture above? This is Oh Wow bread!

Expect more of these loaves! Expect a multitude of varieties!

Expect that you will be delivering these to the neighbors when you come home for Christmas!

Expect that if the blogger who wrote about this bread accepts, Dad and I will be living with her by the time you come home for Christmas! So be sure to check in!

I did exactly what she did. I'm a rule follower, you know this.

Here's the recipe. Now go make this bread!

Crusty Bread
by the Simply So Good Blog

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cups water

Add the first three ingredients to a mixing bowl. Add the water and stir with a large spoon til all ingredients are incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and that's that for the next 12-18 hours! I've made this twice now, once right before I went to bed and then baked it for dinner the next day and once at around noon and baked it in the morning.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and then, with the lid on, put a cast iron Dutch oven in the oven for 30 minutes. While the pot is heating up, put your dough on a floured surface (I use a large silpat) and shape it into a ball. No kneading required! Take the pot out of the oven and drop the dough in. With the pot lid on, bake for 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake 15 minutes more. Take the bread out of the pot and place it on a wire rack to cool completely. That's it! Enjoy, it's delicious!!

Love,

P.S. I use a Le Creuset 5 1/2 quart in Dune that Dad and I bought at a Williams Sonoma Outlet store several years ago. I love it, it was worth every penny and more! Watch for sales, they do exist.

11 comments:

  1. I've made that bread recipe before - its always a show stopper when I serve it for dinner.

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    1. Right? It's incredible! I just put a batch together for tomorrow morning. French Toast!

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  2. So, you bake the bread in the dutch oven, but not in the oven itself? I want to try this recipe (if I can borrow a pan from someone), but I don't want to scorch the bread!

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    1. Hi, Theresa! The bread is definitely baked in the oven!! Yes! I need to go back and review my directions to make sure I've written them correctly! In a nutshell, you heat the empty Dutch oven with its top on in your oven for 30 minutes, take it out and put the bread dough in the Dutch oven. Then put the Dutch oven, again with the cover on top, back in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Then you remove the Dutch oven cover and leave the bread and the pan in the oven for another 15 minutes. Then you remove the topless Dutch oven from the oven and remove the bread from it and put the bread on a rack to cool. Does this help? I hope you get a chance to make it! It's delicious!

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    2. I did! It was SO good! I ended up using my Calphalon dutch oven, and that worked great, too. Made the leftovers once they started getting too tough into French Toast. Mmm.

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    3. Yay! I am so glad! I have a loaf in the oven right now!

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  3. Hi i tried this recipe the bread never rose (i left it overnight in my oven after i had used it and it cooled down) i cooked it in a 2 1/2 quart dutch over but i don't think it should matter as the dough was small and never rose up anyway.....the bread looks delicious any other suggestions on what i'm doing wrong.

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    1. Hey, Terri! My loaf is not a dome shape. I think at it's tallest height it was about 5 inches. But it definitely does rise! I wonder if you leave it on your counter instead of your oven if that would help? Also, check your years. I've used the regular kind and the kind for bread machines (it's marked on the packet) and I get a bit more lift from the bread machine yeast. Did you try your bread? Was it tasty?

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    2. Oops! That should say yeast, not years!

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  4. I made this for the first time when I was in Texas a couple of weeks ago at my mom's house. I have made it every day since! It was delicious and so easy! Unlike most people, I guess, I don't like a really "crusty" crust, so I've been leaving the lid on through the whole thing. There was only one time that it sort of didn't work. It was cold and raining and I had the windows open. The next day the dough was very wet, more like a batter. I added quite a bit more flour, gave it another couple of hours and threw it in the pan, still a little too wet. It didn't rise much and was a weird shape, but that didn't stop anyone! It was still tasty.
    I've made it with 1/2 whole wheat flour, herbs, olives, added a bunch of cinnamon and a little confectioners sugar, so far it's all been a huge hit. So versatile and such a sure thing! Thanks, Sandrie!

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    1. Carol, I LOVE your tip about leaving the cover on the whole time! I'm going to try that tomorrow! And after reading about your butter, I really want to try that too! Sure wish you could send your boys over to do the shaking!

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