After challah (natch), this is my absolute favorite bread to make. So easy, so delicious, so versatile - it's fantastic. Serve it with some goat cheese - I like to add rosemary - and some strawberry preserves, and you have a fantastic Sunday afternoon snack.
- Three (3) cups of all-purpose (or bread) flour - I use bread flour
- Two (2) tsps. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1.5 cups lukewarm water
- Preferred: Dutch oven
1) Mix the flour, salt and dry yeast in a large bowl. Add the water, and mix just until you have a rough dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise at room temperature for at least eight (8) hours. I usually let mine rise for about 24 hours.
2) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Once it's preheated, place your uncovered Dutch oven in for about 30 minutes.
3) Remove the Dutch oven and, if it's not enameled, place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom. Put a little flour on your hands, and transfer the dough into the Dutch oven.
4) With the cover on, bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover again, and bake for another 7 - 15 minutes. I usually go for about 10 - 12, but I like my crust extra brown and crispy.
5) Remove from the oven and Dutch oven, place on a cutting board to cool for a few minutes, then slice (or tear) and serve.