I love fresh, warm bread. The kind that is crusty on the outside, and soft inside. Pair that up with some fresh bruschetta, or butter- and I have dinner. Or it can be a perfect addition to a salad or soup dinner.
In the past couple of months I have conquered my fear of yeast. If you’d like proof then check out the Mostly-Whole Wheat Bread, Apple & Smoked Cheese Whole Wheat Pizza, and Whole Wheat Pitas. Last week’s Food Matters Project was bruschetta, and I needed a vehicle for all that deliciousness. So I attempted bread. What did I learn? I never want to buy bread from the store again!
It looks gorgeous, and I am so proud of it! If I have succeeded, all of you can make it. Fortunately, this recipe does not require an overnight rising period- that is way too long to wait (although that might be due to my lack of planning). This is perfect to throw together right before you leave for work (or the night before), let the yeast work its magic and all you have to do is pop it in the oven when you get home. Fresh bread for dinner!
Adapted from: Hide the Cheese
1 tbsp + 2 tsp yeast
1 tbsp + 2 tsp salt
3 cups warm water
1 tbsp honey
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp olive oil
Mix the yeast, salt, water and honey in a large bowl. Stir with a spoon until the yeast and honey dissolve completely. Then add the flour, continue mixing until it is fully incorporated with the wet ingredients.
(optional) Coat a large bowl with olive oil. If you don’t have an additional large bowl, just move parts of the dough to add some of the olive oil under it. This is not necessary, but does make it easier to take out the dough from the bowl after it has risen.
Cover the dough with a dish towel and allow it rest for at least 2 hours (although the longer the better).
After the dough has risen, take half of it out (the other half can be stored in the fridge) onto a floured surface. Shape it into a ball, or any shape you’d like.
Preheat the oven to 450ºF. As you turn on the oven, put the dutch oven (or corningware) into the oven at the same time. When the oven reaches 450ºF, take out the dutch oven and place the dough inside. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Then cook for another 15 minutes, uncovered, or until the top is a light brown.
Take out the bread from the oven, and allow it to cool off on a wire rack. Enjoy it fresh!