Our baking nights are one of the things I miss most about New England. John's bread skills are way more advanced than this super easy recipe, but it does the trick.
With a little planning ahead I can whip this up for dinner. The slices are narrow, so they make excellent dinner bread slathered with butter, or great cafe sandwiches.
If I can make this, so can you!
Easy, No-Knead Crusty Bread
(via So Tasty So Yummy)
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 package)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 1/4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 egg, whisked
- Herbs or mix-ins (I like using roasted garlic!)
- cornmeal for dusting stone
-In a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment (or just a bowl + spoon + elbow grease) combine water, yeast, and salt and stir until combined. Wait about 10 minutes, until mixture has begun to froth. This is how you'll know the yeast is "proofed" and ready to go!
-Add the flour and gently stir until incorporated. Add in any herbs or mix-ins you'd like. Mix on low speed until dough is smooth and elastic.
-Place a clean dishtowel or plastic wrap over the bowl and set in a warm spot for 2 hours. I like to set the oven to 200 degrees, then turn it off and put the bowl in there.
-Pre-heat oven to 450 F. Place your bread cooking pan of choice (pizza stone is preferred, but I do fine with a silicone baking mat on a cookie sheet.
-Add 2 cups of water in an oven-safe dish and position in the bottom rack of the oven. The steam from the water will help ensure a crispy, crusty crust!
-Gently form dough into a ball (or any other shape you desire!) and brush with the egg if you'd like a shiny crust. Make two or three shallow slices on top of the bread.
-Sprinkle your baking sheet with corn meal and set the dough ball on top. Bake for 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.