I love bread. A lot. I can pretty much not get enough of it (much to my thighs dismay). I think bread is at its best when it is soaking up gravy or soup or stew. You need a pretty hearty piece of bread to hold up to some of my stoups (soup/stew hybrid). It has to be soft and spongy in the middle to soak up all the deliciousness of the dish but I also like a thick, hard crust though too. I want both! I want it all! Is that too much to ask for? Am I being greedy??
So then I found this recipe on Pinterest for a hard crusted large loaf of bread. I had to try it and try it I did! It was everything I had hoped for!
Crusty No-Knead Bread
- 6 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour; I used 4 cups of all-purpose flour & 2 cups of whole wheat flour)
- 1/2 tsp. instant or active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 2/3 cups cool water
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and mix until everything is well combined. The dough will be very sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 12-18 hours at room temperature. I mixed my ingredients and then just left the dough on the counter overnight. When the dough is ready, it will have risen and will be dotted with bubbles on the surface.
- Flour your hands and your work surface lightly. Place your dough on the your work surface and sprinkle with more flour. Fold the dough over a few times and work it into a ball pinching a seam underneath.
- Generously (really generously) dust a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the cloth as it rises. Sprinkle more flour on the dough and cover with the edges of the towel or another towel and let rise for another 2 hours or until doubled in size. I used a flour sack towel. It worked perfectly and was big enough to just fold the corners up over the dough to rise. Do not skimp on the 'flouring of the towel' step. The first time I made this recipe I had a bit of a sticky mess attached to my towel. Sad face.
- After 1 1/2 hours, preheat your oven to 425°. Place a 6-8 quart dutch oven (or any heavy covered pot) in the oven as it heats up.
- When your 2 hours are up and your dough is fully risen, remove your dutch oven carefully from the oven. As carefully as you can, remove the top towel or top folds from your dough ball and flip the dough into the hot pot seam side up.
- Cover and bake for 40 minutes and then uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes more until the crust is a dark golden color.
- Remove the bread from the pot and let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Enjoy!!
|what you will need|
|mixing dry ingredients in my awesome pink bowl|
|I prefer the hand mixing method|
|after all the ingredients are mixed, fight with the plastic wrap to get the bowl covered. Sorry no pics right now of the dough after the 12-hour rise. I will take some and post them tomorrow! ;-)|
|This is my very old, very well-loved gifted Dutch Oven|
|And here it is! Isn't that crust beautiful!?|
Thanks for stopping and God bless!!