Monday, March 2, 2009
I LOVE this bread. This is as good (if not better) as the stuff you pay big bucks for at Trader Joe's, the crusty artisan bread with the chewy interior. Click the link in the title to watch the movie - it's so easy!
All you need are a *cast iron pot, an oven, and a few simple ingredients:
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
cornmeal or more flour for dusting
Throw the ingredients in a bowl and stir. Cover with a damp cloth and let sit for 12-18 hours at room temperature.
Dump your dough out on a floured surface. Pat it into a ball, then flatten and fold over on itself once or twice. Reshape, either into a ball or into an oval. Cover again and let rise for an hour or two, until it doubles in size and doesn't spring back when you put a finger in it. (I have skipped this step and it's fine.)
20 minutes before your dough is done rising, pre-heat your oven to 475 and put your cast iron pot/dutch oven IN the oven to get hot. Dust your dough with cornmeal or flour. Make some diagonal cuts across the top. Drop the dough into your hot pot and put the lid on.
Bake covered for 30 minutes; then uncovered for 15-20 til your bread is beautifully browned. Technically, it says to wait an hour for it to cool before cutting, but I never do that!
*The formal recipe off the link says you can also use any heavy covered pot: cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic.