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Homemade Crusty Bread

Last week I promised to give my recipe for Crusty Bread.  I am sorry but cannot remember exactly where I got this recipe.  I know it was from a website but cannot remember which one.

It is a basic bread recipe but the thing I like the most is that it does not take two days to make as some breads do.  As long as I have it going by noon, my family can be eating fresh, hot bread at dinner time.

It also has only four ingredients.  I hate recipes that take multiple trips to the store or call for items that I wouldn’t ordinarily have in my pantry.

So, let’s get started:

See, like I said, four ingredients: AP flour, yeast, salt and water.  I have fine sea here but that is because it is what I had on hand.  Use whatever salt you have in your house.

This is what the bread looks like just after mixing.  I know it doesn’t look like much but just hang on a little while longer.

A little grainy huh?  Just wait…

This is what the mix looks like after sitting for three hours.  It doesn’t rise much at first but will puff up a little more before baking.

After sitting a few minutes more, it is almost ready to bake.

Fun fact: this towel was my grandmother’s.  I only use it for bread.  Helps to keep her in my kitchen when I am missing her.

Right out of the oven!  One thing to remember about this bread…I know it is called “Crusty Bread” but if you book it too long, the outside will get a bit too crusty.

So here we are, after cutting.  If you are anything like me, you will be cutting off a small corner of this bread, slapping on some butter and chowing down before you even get to the dinner table.

Recipe:

3 cups AP flour

1/4 tsp yeast

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cup warm water

Measure out flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.  Add warm water (just warm enough that you can still put finger in).  Mix thoroughly, cover with towel and sit in a warm area.  If, like me, you don’t have too many warm spots, you can turn your oven on the lowest temperature and sit bowl inside.  Just don’t close the oven door and only keep oven on long enough to heat up and then turn it off.  Let sit for 3 hours.

After 3 hours, knead bread just a little, 2-3 times just until it has a smooth texture.  Cover and let sit 35 mins.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  I cook bread in a cast iron dutch oven but any baking dish with a lid will work.  Heat pan in oven while preheating.

Place in oven and cook, with top on, for 30 minutes.  Take top off and cook an additional 10-15 minutes but keep and eye on it to make sure the crust isn’t getting tough.

How I usually serve:

Slice bread, butter, sprinkle with garlic powder and add some shredded cheddar cheese.  Place under the broiler for a few minutes until cheese melts and top gets slightly brown.

Please let me know if you try this bread and how you like it.  It is one of our family favorites and I’m hoping it will be your’s too.

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