Breads, Food

Rustic Crusty Bread

Lately I’ve gotten a little lazy with making bread.  I don’t like to make any bread that I actually have to knead.  I like the kind that I mix up and then leave it, and then eventually bake it – like this yummy fococcia bread.

This Rustic Crusty Bread from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe fits the bill for no-knead.  I cannot emphasize enough how much easier it is than making regular “kneaded” bread.  It also looks and tastes great!  You can use it for sandwich/panini bread or it’s fancy enough for serving with a main dish.

Mel’s recipe calls for the dough to make 2 loaves, but since it’s just the two of us, I don’t really need that much bread.  I cut her recipe in half to make one nice-sized loaf.

Rustic Crusty Bread
Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
Yield: 1 loaf
3/4 Tablespoon instant/quick rise yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (around 100°)
1/2 scant Tablespoon salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix yeast and warm water. Add in salt and flour and mix until there are no dry patches. Dough will be a little loose, but should not be too runny or sticky.  Cover with a towel and let dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours.
2. After 2 hours, remove dough from bowl and stretch the top a little (so you have a smooth top and the lumps are underneath).  Place it on parchment paper and let it rest for 40 minutes.
3. When ready to bake, place a broiler pan on the bottom rack of the oven.  Place a baking stone on the middle rack and preheat the oven to 450°.  Let the baking stone heat for 20 minutes at 450° before baking the bread.
4. After the stone has heated for 20 minutes, dust the dough with a bit of flour and make three cuts across the top of the bread.  Place it in the oven on the stone (still on the parchment paper).  Pour 1 cup of very hot water in the broiler pan.  Bake bread for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool and serve!

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