The Lazy Good Bread

When it comes to bread, I want to violate my rule that I don’t chat here, just post recipes.

Bread is about ingredients, but only to a point. Mostly it’s about method.

I’m in pursuit of the perfect ciabatta bread.

This ain’t it.

But this is a great little bread and it’s easy to make.

I got inspired by a lovely Justapinch contributor by the name of Diane Smith. I tore her recipe apart and reworked it.

Most homemade bread is good when it’s right out of the oven and warm. It’s perfect with some butter. But cold, it’s usually too heavy, tightly crumbed (tiny tiny holes) that as a sandwich bread, it’s too dry and too bready.

This crumb is much more open, and I made a sandwich with it with each slice being 1″ and it was perfect. It’s also good as toast. It would make fantastic Panini. Or french toast.

And it’s easy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 2 c warm water
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c bread flour
  • 1/4 c wheat flour
  • olive oil
  • cornmeal

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place yeast in a large bowl and add water. Whisk until dissolved.
  2. Add the honey, and mix.
  3. Add the flours and the salt.
  4. Stir, until it’s reasonably mixed. It gets stiff and is very sticky.
  5. Oil your hands, and get in there and finish mixing it all together and form into a ball.
  6. Oil the top of the dough and the sides of the bowl.
  7. Cover with oiled Saran wrap, a couple of towels, and place in a warm place for 11 hours or so (this is not rocket science–two hours either way will make zero difference) (dough will about triple in size) (I start the night before)
  8. About an hour before you want to bake, put a pizza stone in the oven and crank it to 500°. While that is going on.
  9. Get your dough. Take a shallow pan (a 10 x 6 is perfect) and line it with parchment. Brush with some olive oil. Toss on some cornmeal.
  10. Oil a rubber spatula and tip the bowl at the pan, and guide the dough out with the spatula, trying not to disturb the dough too much. When it is in the pan, cover with the oiled Saran again, and place in a warm spot again until the hour heating of the oven is done.
  11. Spray the top of the loaf with water, and place the pan on the pizza stone and close the door. Reduce the temperature to 450° and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top seems fairly hard. I saw about a third expansion from when I put it in the oven.
  12. Take out and place on wire rack to cool.

 

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