I love bread. And I’ve become a bit of a snob about it, too, because I’m spoiled by friends and family members who are fantastic bakers (which also happens to be my mom’s maiden name…go figure). But here’s the thing: I’m really, really busy. Between blogging and writing and working and occasionally getting up from the computer to stretch my legs, I don’t have much time left over for proofing yeast and kneading dough. Luckily, my friend Maya gave me this super easy, fix-it-and-forget-it recipe for bread. Similar recipes have been featured on the New York Times’ Minimalist column and the always-gorgeous Smitten Kitchen blog. The only hitch is that you have to make the dough a day ahead of when you plan to eat it. But the dough takes less than 5 minutes to make, meaning that you can go do your blogging, writing, working–or whatever it is that other people do–for 16 to 24 hours and then come back the next day and pop it in the oven.
BREAD FOR DUMMIES
- 3 cups of flour (I like to use all white, but you can use some wheat, rye, etc.–I’d recommend using no more than one cup of an alternate flour, though, and use white flour for the rest)
- 1/4 t of yeast
- 1 1/4 t of salt (I tend to use more because I’m a salt fiend)
- 1 5/8 cups of water at room temp.
You’ll also need a pot with a lid. A dutch oven or earthenware casserole works great.
In a large mixing bowl, mix dry ingredients, add water and mix with hands until there are no dry spots. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 16-24 hrs. Preheat the oven to 450 with the lidded pot inside of it. Scrape the bread out of the bowl onto a floured surface and, being careful not to overhandle it, shape the dough into a disk. Place the dough in the preheated pot, folding the edges under, and put the lid on. Bake for 30-35 min with the lid on, then remove lid and bake for another 15-20 min. The bread should be golden brown, crusty, and delicious.
Photo from steamykitchen.com.