Crusty Bread

I think this bread should be called “Miracle Bread”!  I have a confession to make, I am a little afraid of using recipes that call for yeast because I have not had good luck in the past making things involving yeast but this bread truly could not be any easier or tastier!  I found the recipe on Pinterest (of course!), followed it carefully but after the 12 hours plus of rising time, my dough looked like a soggy mess and I was sure that it would not bake into anything remotely resembling bread!  But it did!  So Miracle Bread!  The recipe comes from a blog called “Simply So Good” and I’m going to tell you right now that her post will be much, much better than mine!  She took lots of pictures of the whole bread making process which was helpful because then I could check how my dough looked compared to hers and also she answers tons of questions about the recipe so that was helpful too so you really should go check out her post but here are the basics.

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon yeast

1 1/2 cups water

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast.  Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms.  (My dough was really runny so I added an additional 1/4 cup flour but I think next time I make it, I will add less water.)  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 – 18 hours.  (She said that she has let it sit for up to 24 hours with no problems.)  Overnight works great.  Heat oven to 450.  When oven has reached 450, place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.  (I don’t have a cast iron pot so I used my Pampered Chef Stoneware Deep Covered  Baker.)  Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball.  (Mine would not hold the shape of a ball and was just kind of a blob or mound.)  Cover with plastic wrap and let set while pot is heating.  Remove hot pot from oven and drop in dough.  Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, remove lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Remove bread from oven and set on cooling rack.

Cranberry, Orange, Almond Crusty Bread

Here is one of the flavored breads that she also does so for this one just follow the above instructions but add to the dry ingredients the zest of 1 orange, 1/2 cup almonds and 3/4 cup dried cranberries then just follow the recipe as outlined above.  Smells and tastes heavenly!

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