Crusty Bread

Every time I serve this bread to friends and family, they're amazed that it's homemade - as it tastes like it straight out of a fancy bake shop. In reality, it's out of my newly built kitchen (which I love dearly) and I am proud to be known as a fantastic baker!  It might sound a bit bold, but my cakes, cookies, and muffins are downright amazing!

When I started experimenting with making this bread, the most difficult aspect was understanding the instructions clearly. So, to make it easier on my readers, I'm going to include a few videos in addition to writing out the recipe.

Video 1 - Mix the dough

 

Video 2 - Prep the dough and oven

Punching the dough + heating the dutch oven (6 to 16 hours after video 1)

 

Video 3 - Bake the bread

(45-60 minutes after video 2)

 

Preparation time: 5 minutes prep + 6-16 hours of leavening + 1-hour baking

Makes: 1 loaf

Ingredients:

  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp yeast

  • 1¾ cup cold water

  • Whole wheat (or spelt) flour for dusting

In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt and yeast. Add cold water. Stir, making sure that there is no dry flour left behind. If in doubt, add a tiny bit of water. Cover dough for 6-16 hours (overnight usually does the trick).

With your hands, punch the dough down and scrape the sides of the bowl. Fold outside edges into the centre of the dough about 10 times -- rotating between each fold. This step looks like kneading but you're really just organizing the dough to create a ball. The quicker you work, the less the dough sticks. When done rotating, dust the loaf ball with the whole grain flour -- enough to coat the entire ball. Cover and set aside for its second leavening.

While the dough is leavening, prepare your oven by Preheating to 450F. Next, place a large saucepan with a cover (known as a dutch oven) into your hot oven. The set-aside dough will leaven while the oven and pot pre-heat for 45-60 minutes.

Put dough in the dutch oven. Bake with the cover on for 30 minutes, and then another 30 minutes without the cover.

That's it! At the end, you'll have delicious, crusty bread and your crowd will be very impressed!

Honestly, the hardest part of this recipe is the cleanup. So that should encourage you to give it a whirl!

Bonus Tip: Once you're pro...

You can start to add* flavours to your bread! My favourite flavours are:

  • Caraway seeds

  • Fennel seeds, sunflower seeds, and poppy seeds,

  • Raisin, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg

  • Olives

  • Fresh rosemary

*make sure to add your flavour(s) before adding the water.