Monday, November 21, 2011

Fool Proof Homemade Crusty Bread.. Even This Fool Can Make :)

Not long ago the thought of ME making homemade bread was laughable! I assumed that only "really" domestically talented people made their own bread.  I was terrified of all the rising and watching and waiting.  It seemed like WAY too much work.  But being the carb addict that I am when a neighbor gave me this recipe and said, "You can't mess this up!" I decided to prove her wrong, attempt my first and last batch of homemade bread and be done with it..... BUT once again I was wrong.  I didn't ruin it!  It is soooo easy and tasty too.  So totally impress your next dinner guests with this great bread... and when they ask where you got this great artisan style bread say without hesitation... "Oh that.. I made today." like you do this kind of thing all the time :) Haha!  This is how you make it.
Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of yeast to 3 cups of luke warm water.
Next mix 7 cups of regular all purpose flour and 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt  in a large container.. I use a large square tupperware container (you want something with a lid). 
It will be a little sticky but get it all combined.
Next let it set on your counter for an hour or two.  My neighbor told me to set it in a sunny/warm spot in your kitchen with a damp kitchen towel over it.  But when I made this it was gloomy and it still turned out great.
Then just put the lid on and put it in your fridge overnight.... and it keeps like this for up to a week.  How great huh? You can make it ahead of a special dinner or just have it to use all week.
When you are ready to make some, take out whatever size chunk you want, fold it over itself into a nice ball and then set it in a skillet or baking dish sprayed or sprinkled with a little cornmeal.  Let it set while your oven pre-heats to 400 degrees.
Next fill a glass baking dish with water and put it and the bread in the over about 30 minutes.. until it is golden brown and the crust is hard to the touch.  The water makes all the difference so don't skip that part.
This is what you end up with.... crunchy crusty outside... delicious soft inside. 
Add a little garlic herb butter and you have the perfect fresh bread for any meal.  You can also add herbs or garlic to the dough, really the options are endless!  I will say because there are no preservatives it is best to make and eat it right away.  It's a great excuse to have one more piece... you wouldn't want to let it go to waste now would you??? And since you have more dough in the fridge.. you can make more tomorrow :)

Enjoy, Lindsey

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