Last February, I wrote about conquering a fear of yeast in my cinnamon roll post. And yes, those cinnamon rolls turned out perfectly and were tasty as hell. But honestly, they were friendly little cinnamon rolls. If a girl really wanted to test her yeasty mettle, a loaf of bread would be the next demon to face. And I faced bravely it this past weekend.
The inspiration for my first loaf came from an older blog post written by Alicia on Posie Gets Cozy where she raves about this easy bread recipe on Mother Earth News website. I had seen it a while ago, and finally this past weekend, it was time for me to give it a try. Sooo glad I did. I can't begin to tell you how proud I was taking this gorgeous boule out of the oven. Now it's my turn to rave!
Run to the store and buy the ingredients and you too can make a magical loaf of bread in your own oven. I thought I would share my process with you...it was entirely laid back and easy. It seems like a lot of steps, but trust me, each step is really quick.
This is photodocumention by me...recipe by Mother Earth News.
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tsp salt
|Dissolve yeast in warm water.|
|Add the flour and salt, stirring until blended. The dough will be shaggy and sticky.|
|Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm room (70 degrees) for at least 8 hours (preferably 12-18). |
The dough is ready when it's dotted with bubbles.
|Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. Sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice.|
|Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 15 minutes.|
|Cover with another towel and let rise for about 1 to 2 hours. When it’s ready, the dough will have doubled in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.|
At least 20 minutes before the dough is ready, heat oven to 475 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven and lift off the lid. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. The dough will lose its shape a bit in the process, but that’s OK. Give the pan a firm shake or two to help distribute the dough evenly, but don’t worry if it’s not perfect; it will straighten out as it bakes.