I had tea on Sunday with Laura, a friend I met through Spinning (she’s actually an instructor) and she was telling me about this recipe, especially how easy and delicious it was. I was sold. I literally went home from Starbucks and immediately made it. We were having chicken soup last night (a great recipe coming on that soon!) and I really wanted homemade bread. She was totally right. The bread is super easy, but even better, it has really awesome flavor. It has a little bit of sweetness from the sugar, but isn’t too rich and heavy.
Some notes on this recipe: It’s a no-knead bread which is really sticky. I was really doubting whether I had added enough flour, but it really comes together in the end. Don’t stress that its super sticky and don’t add more flour! It’ll just weigh down your dough and make it really heavy. Also, the original recipe has a whole long explanation about using Pyrex dishes, and instead I just made one loaf in a loaf pan. I didn’t have those dishes, nor was I going to buy them, so just make due with what you have!
Read on for the recipe.
- 4 cups (1 lb. 2 oz) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 3 tsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. active-dry yeast
- In a small mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar into the water. Sprinkle the yeast over top. There is no need to stir it up. Let it stand for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture is foamy and/or bubbling just a bit. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. When the yeast-water-sugar mixture is foamy, stir it up, and add it to the flour bowl. Mix until the flour is absorbed.
- Cover bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot to rise for at least an hour. (If you have the time to let it rise for 1.5 to 2 hours)
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Grease two oven-safe bowls or one larger loaf pan. Using two forks, punch down your dough, scraping it from the sides of the bowl, which it will be clinging to. It's best to scoop it up fast and plop it in the bowl in one fell swoop. Let the dough rise for about 20 to 30 minutes on the countertop near the oven (or near a warm spot) or until it has risen back up somewhat.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375º and make for 15 to 17 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and turn the loaf onto a cooling rack. If you've greased the bowls well, the loaves should fall right out onto the cooling racks. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.