No one has to know how easy this amazing, crusty bread was to make, except you. On the other hand, everyone should know I’m a better cook than my wife.
Get ready to taste one of the best breads you’ve ever had. You will become an instant baker. I promise. Even if you’ve never baked a thing in your life. You’ll see…..
3 Cups Bread Flour (not all purpose flour, you need bread flour)
1/4 Teaspoon Instant Yeast
1 Teaspoon of fine table Salt (or 1 Tbs of Kosher salt – my preferred method)
1 1/2 Cups of warm Water
Covered Pot (five-quart or larger cast iron, Pyrex, ceramic, enamel…something that can go into a 450F oven).
We did ours with a Le Creuset because it’s my favorite.
* Works best when you do the 1st step the day before you plan on eating the bread.
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Once they are combined, pour in the water and mix the whole thing up with a spatula or wooden spoon until the dough forms. It will look sticky and messy, but should not look dry.
Told you it was messy!
Cover the bowl with some kind of plastic wrap and let it sit on your countertop overnight. It should sit for at least 12 hours, but I have let it sit up to 30 hours without any problems.
Uncover the dough and plop it onto a floured surface. A cutting board, large dish or even your clean countertop will work just fine. Just make sure you have some flour on the surface to prevent the dough from sticking to it.
Once you have the dough on the “floury” surface fold it onto itself a few times until it becomes something that resembles a deflated ball.
Grab a kitchen towel and put some flour on the center of it. Place your dough ball on the center and fold the towel corners over the dough ball and let it sit on your countertop for another 2 hours.
After your dough ball has been resting on the countertop for about 1 1/2 hours set your oven to 450F degrees and put your covered pot in the oven to pre-heat for 30 minutes.
Carefully remove the pot from the oven and remove the lid carefully, taking care not to burn yourself. Grab your dough ball and toss inside the pot. It really doesn’t matter how your dough lands. Actually, the messier it looks, the more rustic the bread will be! Cover the pot again and put it back into the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes are done. Uncover and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until the crust is golden goodness. Once it’s as gold as you want it, remove the bread from the pot and release your inner animal.
Try not to burn yourself as you dig into the hot bread. Not a single person in my house can wait until it cools down. We’re done eating it before it cools. Then again, that’s how it’s best.
Oh…another benefit? Your house will smell AMAZING!