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Friday, October 27, 2017

Simple and Delicious Crusty French Bread

This easy Crusty Bread recipe was a HUGE hit this week so I thought I would quickly hop on here to share it. 

Yield: 1 loaf (about 6 servings)



INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (about 105 degrees F should do the trick)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour, plus extra for dusting

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine yeast, sugar, and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (you could also mix this dough by hand if you like – just use a large mixing bowl instead).
  2. Let the yeast proof for about 5-7 minutes, until the mixture gets all foamy.
  3. Add kosher salt to bowl.
  4. Add flour to bowl a bit at a time and mix on low speed until all flour is incorporated and dough has just started to pull away from the sides of the bowl. (If you are mixing by hand, mix until ingredients have just come together and form a smooth dough).
  5. Lightly flour all sides of your dough (don’t mix the flour in – it’s just to keep the dough from sticking!) and turn it over inside the mixing bowl to coat with flour on all sides. Cover with a tea towel and let rise on the counter for about 1 hour, until dough has doubled in size.
  6. When dough has risen, lightly flour a large cutting board.
  7. Tip the dough out of the bowl and onto the cutting board. do not punch the dough down – you want to keep all those nice air bubbles intact so you have an airy, delicious loaf of bread. (Note: If the dough is sticking to the bowl a little bit, just wet your hand with a bit of water and gently separate the dough from the bowl to get it all out).
  8. Sprinkle a bit of flour across the top of the dough, then begin shaping it into a round loaf.
  9. Flour a small mixing bowl and place your loaf into it seam-side down. Cover with a tea towel and let rise another 30 minutes or so.
  10. While bread proofs, place an empty dutch oven (with the lid on) in your oven and heat to 460 degrees F.
  11. When the oven is hot, you’re ready to go!
  12. Tip your bread dough gently out of the mixing bowl and VERY CAREFULLY (without burning yourself!) place it – seam side UP, this time – into the hot dutch oven.
  13. Put the dutch oven lid back on the pot, and slide the whole thing back into your hot oven.
  14. Cook bread for 25-30 minutes.
  15. After about 30 minutes, remove the lid from your dutch oven. The bread should be crusty and lightly browned. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 10 minutes more or until the bread has deepened in color and you have a beautiful brown crust.
  16. Remove entire Dutch Oven from oven
  17. Lift the bread out of the dutch oven and onto a cooling rack. Let cool for about 20 minutes before cutting into it... and, enjoy!

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