October 28, 2013

Crusty Bread

If you're in need of any easy bread recipe, then this is the recipe for you.  It does require some time to rise, but you don't have to spend the time kneading it which is half of the battle.  I also love this recipe because you can add virtually any herbs, spices, cheeses, etc. and you get a different bread each and every time.

I've made a rosemary and thyme loaf before, which was devoured over a family dinner.  For this specific loaf I made a basil seasoned bread to compliment my Sun-Dried Tomato Grilled Chicken that I served.  In what was 5 minutes of actual preparation time, I was able to produce a wonderful loaf of fresh bread to serve to my family!

No-Knead Crusty Bread
 Makes 1 Loaf
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 3/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t SAF Instant Yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 2-4 T herbs/spices of choice *
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and yeast
  2. Add the herbs/spices then the water and mix until a shaggy mixture is formed
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit (do not refrigerate) for 12-18 hours (overnight is great)
  4. Once the dough has sat, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F
  5. Once the oven is preheated, place an enameled cast iron dutch oven** with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes 
  6. While the pot is heating up, pour the dough onto a floured surface and shape it into a ball
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit while the pot is heating up
  8. Remove the pot from the oven and place the dough into the ungreased pot
  9. Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes
  10. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and cook for another 15 minutes
  11. Remove the bread and allow to cool before cutting into it

* The possibilities are endless to what you can add into this bread.  The amounts are all personal preference, but don't add too much or your bread will become too dense (rosemary/thyme - sun dried tomato/basil, artichoke/garlic, spinach/artichoke, chocolate/cranberry or apricot, sun dried tomato/mozzarella/basil, etc.)

** Don't have a cast iron pot, you can use virtually anything that can take the heat (clay pot with a lid, pizza stone with a bowl as a lid, crock pot insert/baking dish with foil or a lid)

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