For some reason, I was always hesitant/afraid to bake my own bread. I guess, I though it would be a complicated, many-steps process and why go through the trouble? After all, there are a good number of great bakeries where I live, which all offer a great variety of fantastic breads…
But, bread is such a staple food and one of the oldest prepared around the world. For centuries, people have baked their own bread, whether it be a nice crusty loaf like this one, or a flat bread, or any type of bread from any wheat species. So, obviously, every once in a while, I felt a pull to at least try to bake my own bread once. In truth, I was also longing for that delicious bakery-smell wafting throughout my home and the pride of enjoying a beautiful a piece of bread of my own making, still warm out of the oven.
I came upon a recipe from one of my favorite food blogger JoCooks and it looked simple enough. After a small research, I found the exact same recipe on many other food bloggers’ websites. So I could not tell you who came up with this simple recipe first. But one thing is clear though: this person is a genius!
All you’ll need are 4 staple ingredients (if you can count water as one!) and a good, large pot with a lid ( I used my enameled cast-iron dutch oven for this recipe):
- Dry active yeast
- All purpose flour
That’s it! REALLY! Oh, but just so you know, instead of working hard at kneading, you’ll need a considerable rest time (12 to 18 hours) at room temperature before baking you dough…So granted, it takes a little planning ahead, but in my opinion, it’s a good trade-off for approximately 5 minutes of work.
An LOOK at this crust! It’s truly a no-fail bread, I guarantee that you’ll succeed if you follow the steps. Since that first loaf of bread, I’ve already baked a few others and it’s SUCCESS! Every.Single.Time.
- -3 cups all-purpose flour
- -1 3/4 tsp salt
- -1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- -1 1/2 cups water room temperature
- In a big bowl mix the flour, salt and yeast together. Incorporate the water using a wooden spoon until it forms a dough (this should be very quick).
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit on your counter for 12 to 18 hours (Unless it's a heat wave and you don't have air conditioned, the countertop will be the perfect temperature).
- Put your cast iron pot with the lid on in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 F degrees. Once the oven is at 425 F., remove the pot from the oven (remove the lid). Add some cornmeal or flour on the bottom of your pot (to make sure that the bread doesn't stick).
- Sprinkle a bit of flour over the dough, roughly shape it into a ball and drop it into the pot. Cover the pot with the lid and place it back in the oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, after which remove the lid and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove the bread from the pot, it should fall out easily. Let cool completely before slicing into it and serving.