I did something this weekend that I’ve been dreading all summer and that is to clean out my kitchen! I knew it had been a really long time since I last took on this task. With a tropical storm moving up the east coast, it was a good indoor activity. I found some active dry yeast in the pantry and it brought back fond memories of my bread baking days. I used to love making fresh bread and actually had a sourdough starter that I kept “alive” for a few months. Now that my family eats a primarily grain-free diet, I haven’t made bread in years. This recipe caught my eye, because it’s easy to make and bakes in a Dutch oven, one of my favorite pans. The dough needs to rise overnight at room temperature, with a second rise of two hours before baking. Baking bread is a very satisfying accomplishment, and makes your kitchen smell heavenly.
- 4 1/2 cups (630 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon (18 grams) kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 1/4 cups luke warm water (about 105 degrees Fahrenheit)
- 1/3 cup (53 grams) plain yellow cornmeal, divided
1) In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and yeast. Add 2 1/4 cups water. Stir with your hands until a sticky dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise at room temperature overnight or up to 24 hours.
2) On a floured surface, pat at the dough in a circular shape. Fold four edges in toward the center and turn the dough so the smooth side is up. Sprinkle with flour, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise again at room temperature for 2 hours.
3) Place a 4- to- 6 quart cast-iron Dutch oven in a cold oven. Pre-heat the oven with the pan in it, to 500 degrees. While the oven is pre-heating, sprinkle the top of the dough generously with cornmeal. Using a large spatula, turn the dough over and sprinkle the other side with the remaining cornmeal.
4) Carefully, place the dough in the pre-heated Dutch oven. Use a wooden spoon to push the dough down into the corners of the pan. Cover the pan and bake the bread for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. Let the bread cool completely on a wire rack. This recipe makes a 2 pound loaf of bread.
Source: Bake from Scratch