When it comes to bread, I’m picky. I hate buying bread from the store.
Okay, let’s be real, I still buy bread, but there are only a few brands I’ll buy without choking at the price or looking with dread at the long list of ingredients that include a lot of sugar and a lot of sucrose and a lot of other stuff I really don’t want to be putting in my bread.
So let me share one of my favorite basic bread recipes. And I mean totally basic.
You can’t believe how easy this bread is to make. No kneading, no folding, no fancy equipment. You just need a bowl and spoon. But even though it’s basic, it’s full of flavor.
This is my go-to bread for making grilled cheese sandwiches to serve with tomato soup, for making French dip sandwiches, for baking into buttery crispy garlic bread, or for chopping up, toasting up, and using as croutons, or dipping into my favorite Cheddar Lager Fondue, which I think I really need to make again so I can share with you.
Okay, I’m too hungry to continue this article. Cut to the recipe!
No-Knead Rustic Bread
Makes 2 loaves.
What You’ll Need:
- 1 1/2 tbsp yeast
- 1 tbsp salt
- 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour + flour for dusting
- 3 cups lukewarm water
Yep. Seriously. That’s it.
How to Make It:
1. In a large bowl, mix together the water, yeast, and salt. This activates the yeast so that it can do its thing and get you that perfect poofy loaf.
2. Stir in the flour a cup at a time, mixing so that there are no dry patches. The dough is going to look pretty sticky when you’re done, but don’t worry – it’s supposed to look that way. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rise at room temperature for about two hours.
3. At this point, the dough should have risen and puffed up nicely. No kneading needed – just twist it in half and stretch each half over parchment paper. Mound each one into a rounded loaf, and then slide each one onto the backside of an overturned rimmed baking sheet. Let the dough rise for another 45 minutes.
4. Preheat your oven to 450F. If you have a pizza stone or baking stone, preheat that as well. If not, you’re okay – just use the baking pans you’ve let the dough rise on.
5. Lightly dust the top of the loaf with flour, and using a very sharp knife, slash across the top of the loaf lightly. Slide the parchment paper and the dough directly onto your baking stone or onto the warmed baking pans. Bake the bread 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
6. Remove the bread from the oven and let cool completely.
Or sneak a few slices off to munch on while it’s still warm.
It’s insane. I can’t believe how much flavor you can get from what’s essentially just flour and water.
Let’s be real here, though. I still totally buy bread on occasion. I still haven’t perfected the beautiful dark rye that the bakery at our Giant makes so wonderfully. But when I want something beautifully fluffy and crusty, that makes the best croutons and fondue dipping bread in the world, this is what I turn to! I hope you enjoy!
How about you guys? Buy at the store or bake at home?