I am not a person with an immense amount of patience. When I dabbled with bread making early in my cooking life, I found the process overwhelming, laborious, and quite frankly, frustrating. All that kneading and waiting and kneading and waiting exceeded my idea of fun. When I stumbled upon the multitude of recipes on the web for easy, crusty bread, I admit I was skeptical. Skeptic no more!
Seriously…hearty, rustic bread really doesn’t get easier than this! If you can measure out ingredients and stir them together, you can have a loaf of rustic artisan bread with a minimum of effort. Let’s get to how you make that happen…maybe for dinner tonight?
Crusty Artisan Break
- 6 ½ cups flour
- 1 ½ Tablespoons Quick Rise Yeast (also known as Bread Machine Yeast)
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- 3 cups warm water (around 110° F)
- The fastest approach is to measure out all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and give them a stir to combine. Add the water and mix until all the ingredients are blended. Cover the bowl and let the yeast do its work for at least 45 minutes. Easy so far, right?
- Once the 45 minutes is up, choose what you will bake the bread in (cookie sheets, loaf pans, cast iron skillets, dutch ovens, pizza stones, or combination of any of these) and put them in the oven. Set the oven to preheat to 450º F .
- While the oven is pre-heating, turn the dough out of the bowl on to a lightly floured surface. Begin to work out the stickiness by adding flour to the dough, a little at a time, in a kneading process.
- Once the dough is no longer sticky, divide the dough in half for two loaves. Cover with a tea towel and let rest until the oven is ready.
- When the oven reaches 450º, cut a slit or two on the top of your loaves. Carefully put the loaves into your chosen baking pans and bake for 45 minutes.
That’s it. Fresh bread is less than two hours away and all you had to do was measure, mix, sit, and bake.
Tip: If you use a dutch oven cover the bread for the first 30 minutes and then remove the lid for the remaining 15 minutes.
I am now an addicted crusty bread maker. I always have an uncooked loaf of dough in the refrigerator ready to throw in the oven. I’ve been making this bread for years now and it never fails that my husband will walk in the house and say, “That bread smells good.” In our house, the smell of baking bread never gets old!