Saturday, April 27, 2013

Crusty Peasant Bread

This is could very well be my favorite recipe of all time.  I made dozens of these loaves over Christmas to give to neighbors as gifts and it was a major hit.  This bread recipe is soooooooo easy and fool proof, yet it turns out absolutely stunning!  It makes you look like a master, really.  You do have to raise the dough over night, so it takes a little forethought.  But seeing as it only takes literally five minutes to assemble, I say it makes up for it.  Plus you'll get fans everywhere you go, so totally worth starting it the night before.  This obviously goes great with any meal--breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack..... I love a fresh slice with avocado smeared on it with a little sea salt!

{What you need}
3 cups flour
1 3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 cups water
*you will need a cast iron pot with a lid for this recipe

In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.  Gradually stir in the water with a rubber spatula until a shaggy-wet-ish dough forms (it won't be super wet).  Don't you love my imagery?  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise 12-18 hours, or over night for convenience.  When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450 and place the cast iron pot with the lid on it in the oven to preheat for 30 minutes.  Right after you put the pot in the oven, turn out the dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball.  Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is preheating.  After the 30 minutes, open the oven and remove the lid of the pot.  Drop the dough ball in and return the lid.  Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, and then take the (HOT) lid off and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a rack.  If you can't serve it right away, reheat it in a hot oven for a few minutes and you will get the crustiness back to it.  

original recipe from Simply So Good

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