Crusty Homemade Bread - With Variations

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READY IN: 1hr 10mins
Recipe by Bonnie G 2

When I saw this in my TOH magazine knew I had to try it, only 5 ingredients in the basic recipe and the result is a lovely crusty outer and a pillowy soft inside. The house smelled awesome while it was baking, DH has officially decided that other than sourdough - this is his all time favorite. So try it plain, stud it with cheese or fold in orange peel and cranberries - your family is sure to love it. Be sure to plan ahead as it sits in the fridge overnight. Prep time does not include rising

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. BASIC:.
  2. In small bowl, dissolve yeast in wter.
  3. In large bowl, mix 3 1/2 cups flour and salt.
  4. Using rubber spatula add yeast mixture, stirring just until smooth (dough will be sticky). DO NOT knead.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise at room temperature 1 hour.
  6. Punch down dough.
  7. Turn onto a lightly floured surface.
  8. Pat into a 9" square.
  9. Fold dough into thirds, forming a 3" square.
  10. Turn dough over; place in a greased bowl.
  11. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise at room temperature until almost doubled, about 1 hour.
  12. Punch down dough and repeat folding process. Return dough to bowl; refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  13. Line Bottom of a disposable foil rosting pan with parchment paper.
  14. Dust with cornmeal.
  15. Turn dough onta floured surface.
  16. Knead gently 8 times; shape into a 6" round lof.
  17. Place in prepared pan; dust top with remaining 1 Tablespoon of flour.
  18. Cover pan with plastic wrap; let rise at room temperature until dough expands in size to a 7 1/2: loaf, bout 1 1/4 hours.
  19. Preheat oven to 500. Using a sharp knife, make a slash (1/4" deep) across top of loaf.
  20. Cover pan tightly with foil.
  21. Bake on lowest oven rack for 25 minutes.
  22. Reduce oven setting to 450.
  23. Remove foil; bake 25-30 minutes longer or until deep golden brown.
  24. Remove loaf to a wire rack to cool.
  25. CHEDDAR CHEESE Variation:.
  26. Prepare bread dough as directed.
  27. Before kneading dough in Step 4, sprinkle with 4 ounces diced sharp cheedar cheese.
  28. CRANBERRY n ORANGE Variation:.
  29. Prepare bread dough as directed.
  30. Before Kneading dough in Step 4 sprinkle with 1 cup dried cranberries and 4 teaspoons grated orange peel.

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