I always assumed making bread was a chore and not worth the effort when running to the store was quick and easy. However, I believe I have found the easiest way to make homemade french bread. My first attempt at bread making turned out rather well and I will definitely bake more loaves.
A simple crusty bread perfect for breakast with butter and jam or toasted with your favorite breakfast spread.
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried active yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Using a large wooden spoon mix everything together until you have sticky dough mix.
- Leave the dough in the bowl and cover with a cotton towel. Let sit at room temperature for about two hours.
- Refrigerate the dough overnight or up to 5 days.
- Lightly oil your dutch oven.
- Pull the dough out of the mixing bowl and form into a ball or loaf. After you have formed the ball place in the dutch oven and let dough return to room temperature, about one hour or so.
- Before placing in oven take a sharp knife and slash the bread a couple of times.
- Cover the dutch oven and place in over to bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove bread from oven and let cool slightly before cutting.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 87Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 60mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 3g
As instructed, I put everything in a large bowl and combined it. I don’t own a stand mixer so I mixed it all up using a wooden spoon. This worked well and only took about a minute to get a nice sticky loaf.
I covered my bowl of dough with a small plastic bag, the kind you get in the produce section. After two hours I took a peek and yippie, it really did double. I'm off to a good start, step 1 was done right!
I put my bread dough in the refrigerator at about 6:30 pm and took it out the next day at 11 am.
Time to shape the dough. Using my hands I removed the dough from the bowl and gently shape it into a small oval. The shaping took just a couple of minutes, then I place my bread dough in a lightly greased 2.75 quart Le Creuset Oval Dutch Oven.
Time to Bake the Bread
Bring the dough to room temperature and before baking lightly slice the top of the bread a couple of times. Bake in a preheated 450-degree oven for about 30-35 minutes.
Test for doneness using an instant-read thermometer, bread is done when the internal temperature is between 200 and 210 degrees. If the bread is not a nice golden brown remove the lid and continue cooking for a few more minutes.
I ended up with a beautiful loaf of fresh rustic style bread that tastes just fantastic. This recipe is simple and the process is easy, you just need to plan a little. My first loaf was refrigerated for about 36 hours before baking. Since this dough gets tangier the longer it's refrigerated, next time I whip up a batch, I’ll leave it refrigerated for 3 or 4 days.
I foresee making many more homemade bread loaves. I love the fact that homemade bread has no fillers, chemicals preservatives, yadda yadda. Of course, that means your bread won’t stay fresh for a week, but that’s fine with me because it won't last that long!
For my next loaf, I’ll sprinkle in a little garlic powder and add a few roasted garlic cloves, but first I’ll enjoy this lovely bread in the morning slathered with butter and homemade jam or toasted and topped with apple butter or a unique pomegranate butter.
Homemade bread goes great with tomato soup
Made this recipe? Let me know how yours turned out.