Crusty Homemade Bread - With Variations

READY IN: 1hr 10mins
SERVES: 16
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

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