Every once and a while I realize I need a mental health break and take a random day off from work. Last week when I took PTO I wanted to have bread with soup since it has been terribly cold here in Maryland. I realized the last time Greg and I went grocery shopping I said I wouldn’t be buying bread any more since it always goes bad before we get to eating it, and I picked up a few packets of yeast instead.
So I opted to try and bake bread for the first time in my life. Would it be dense and brick like? Might it turn out soft and fluffy like a cloud, or would I burn it, this was a chance I had to take and try.
Just a quick note, this process takes a few hours, but it you have others things you need to do around your home its a good time to try it.
- 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 1/4 cups warm water ( microwaved for 1 min should do it)
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 1/2 All purpose flour ( have extra available for the process)
- Combine the yeast, sugar and warm water in your mixing bowl (stand mixer or regular mixing bowl).
- Allow about 5 minutes for the yeast to proof (the mixture should start to foam).
- Add salt to the bowl.
- Gradually mix in the flour on a slow speed. Make sure all the flour is fully incorporated (when it starts to pull from the sides its getting there!).
- Remove the dough from the bowl and lightly flour all sides.
- Place in a bowl and cover with a moist tea towel for 1 hour.
- Do whatever you need to to for an hour.
- When you come back to the dough it should have doubled in size.
- Lightly flour a cutting board, and carefully move dough to the board. ( don’t let it move too much, or squish it, you want the air bubbles to stay in the dough).
- Add a sprinkling on flour to the top of the dough and begin to shape the dough, pulling each corner toward the middle, but being careful not to squish or pinch.
- Place in a proofing basket or a small/medium bowl and cover with tea towel for an additional 30 minutes.
- While the bread is rising, preheat you oven with your dutch oven with lid on it to 460 degrees F.
- When everything is preheated, careful take the dutch oven out of the oven and slowly and carefully roll the dough into the pot. (seam side up)
- Bake for 30 minutes, with lid on the dutch oven.
- Remove the lid after 30 minutes and bake for an additional 10-20 minutes to get a brown and crunchy top.
- Rest on a cooling rack for 20 minutes.