Simple Daily Bread
Get the Recipe: Simple Daily Bread
The term “comfort food” is taking on new meaning at this time when we’re spending more time dining at home, perhaps recalling memories of cuisines tasted in far-flung places we’ve explored around the world. Through every journey, Crystal has always believed that breaking bread with friends old and new is an essential element of exploring new cultures and places.
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 package yeast
- 1 1/2 cup water, 110-115 °F
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons salt
- In bowl of stand mixer, whisk bread flour and yeast together. Add 1 1/4 cups warm water (110-115 °F) and honey. Fit stand mixer with paddle and mix on low speed for 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and mix for a couple of minutes. Scrape down bowl and paddle with greased rubber spatula. Continue to mix a couple of minutes longer. Remove bowl and paddle from mixer. Scrape down bowl and paddle, leaving paddle in batter. Cover with plastic wrap and let batter rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 20 minutes.
- While dough is resting, stir salt into remaining 1/4 cup water. Adding the salt water to the dough after twenty minutes will help the dough proof quicker (it can save you an hour).
- Add salt-water mixture and mix on low speed until water is mostly incorporated, about 40 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute, scraping down paddle if necessary.
- Remove paddle attachment and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature for at least 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).
Dutch Oven Method
- Lay a 12 by 12inch sheet of parchment paper on counter and dust with flour. Place shaped dough in center and cover with a towel and let rise for 40 min to 1 hour, the dough should be springy to touch.
- Preheat oven to 425 °F.
- Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into heavy-bottomed Dutch oven and then place the lid on. Place in oven and set timer for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, remove lid and bake for another 20-30 minutes until loaf is deep brown and registers 210 F. Feel free to bake until your desired doneness. Always remember every oven heats different and you may have hot spots, so keep an eye on the coloring, you may have to rotate during the cooking.
- Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and let cool completely. I know, I know you want to slice it almost straight away. I still after all these years get the same urge, however, I have learned to resist temptation as it will spoil the finished texture.