I'm glad to be back on the homemade bread train. For years we only had homemade bread in our house, but real life (i.e. a child) lessened the frequency. Now that we've settled in more, it's back to homemade!!
And with this homemade bread recipe, it's hard to decide if the pure ease of making the bread or the taste of this bread make it a favorite in our family. Let's go with both.
I feel pretty confident that this is a no fail bread recipe. I trust that anyone could make this bread and be successful.
The only downfall with this bread is that it does require twenty-four hours of sitting. Sadly, you can't start this bread in the morning and have it for supper. (Ok, you can but I do really recommend following the instructions as indicated; it enhances the taste and texture.)
Easy Artisan Style Bread
(Recipe adapted from my mother-in-law)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1 2/3 cups warm water
Combine flour, yeast, salt, and water in a large bowl. The dough should be sticky and shaggy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 18-24 hours. The dough will rise and become bubbly.
Prepare a pie pan or heavy-duty casserole dish by lining the bottom with parchment paper.
Flour a work surface. Remove dough from bowl, using flour to handle the dough and prevent it from sticking to your hands (though it will stick some). Form a loose ball and place in the prepared baking dish. Cover with a dish cloth and allow to rise for about two hours.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees (not an error, this bread bakes at a high temperature). Bake for 45, remove from the oven, run a cold stick of butter across the top of the bread to soften the crust slightly. Remove from the baking dish and cool slightly prior to cutting.
So, yes, it's slightly time consuming for this bread to be created, but it's all hands-off. The bread it chewy when eaten fresh and toasts up nice the following days (if it lasts that long!)