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!