This is the easiest recipe for simple crusty bread and it uses regular flour. The bread tastes delicious. Perfect for a novice bread maker. I’ve baked for years and I love the convenience of this no-fuss recipe. All you do is make the recipe and store the dough in your refrigerator for up to two weeks. You can make a loaf at a time or any combination up to three loaves.
Making bread or anything with yeast reminds me of my mother and grandmother, both were exceptional cooks and bakers. My memories flow freely when I smell bread baking in my kitchen, I am transported to my childhood watching my mother kneed bread patiently waiting to taste her fresh-baked bread. This recipe is kneed free.
Life is simple again when you bake bread!
1 ½ tablespoons yeast*
1 ½ tablespoon kosher salt
3 cups water, lukewarm
6 ½ cups King Arthur’s unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough
In a large bowl mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. The dough will be quite loose. Cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).
You can make the bread now or cover and refrigerate the dough for up two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and cut off a grapefruit-size piece with a serrated knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put dough on a parchment-covered baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate for future use.
Place broiler pan on the bottom of the oven. Turn over to 450 degrees and heat for 10 minutes.
Dust dough with flour, slash top with a serrated or very sharp knife three times. Place the baking sheet on the center rack. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut the oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely. Makes three round loaves.
* I used SAF Instant Red Label Yeast by Lesaffre Yeast Corporation