When it comes to making our own bread, there have been many times when we looked at the ingredients and the directions and sort of gave up before having even started. Whether it was the finicky directions or the possibility of the yeast not working, we just didn’t want to get involved.
However, we’ve found an awesome way to make bread that is seriously delicious (we use it for toast, sandwiches, dipping into soup...you name it!) and incredibly easy. With just five ingredients (three of them being kitchen staples) and some forethought, you can have bakery-level bread without having to leave the house! You definitely need to commit to this recipe ahead of time, since it calls for a rest period of at least 12 hours, but other than that, this thing’s a breeze!
Yield: 1 large loaf
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon instant (or active dry) yeast
- cornmeal (or flour), as needed
- Mix flour, salt and yeast together in a large bowl.
Note: if using active dry yeast, mix it into the water and let it sit for 5 minutes, or until frothy, then mix water into the flour.
- Pour in water and use your hands to blend together into a shaggy dough.
- Cover dough with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and place in a warm, draft-free place.
- Let dough rest for 12-20 hours.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it so that it’s slightly flattened, then fold dough over itself twice. Repeat with the other sides.
Note: imagine you’re folding a towel into thirds.
- Cover again and let rest another 15-20 minutes, then shape into a ball. (If dough is too sticky to handle, lightly flour your hands while you work with it.)
- Spread out a clean kitchen towel on a flat surface and sprinkle a small handful of cornmeal on it (or flour if that’s all you have).
- Transfer dough seam side down onto the towel and sprinkle another handful of cornmeal over the top.
- Cover and let rest 1 1/2-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 500º F and place a large, ovenproof pot (with a fitted lid) in the oven while it preheats.
- Carefully remove pot from oven and, with your hand supporting the dough in the towel, flip it out into the preheated pot.
- Cover with lid and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 15.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
Recipe adapted from New York Times