Easy Peasy Crusty Bread

Crusty bread photo coming soon, I forgot to take a picture last time I made it!

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Easy Peasy Crusty Bread

A chewy, delightful bread with a crisp crust, perfect for pairing with a bowl of soup.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Proofing time 2 hrs 45 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 35 mins
Course bread, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ cups warm water (you may not need it all)
  • 3 ¼ cups bread flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt (not Kosher this time! table salt)

Instructions
 

  • Combine yeast and ½ cup water in a bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes to “wake up” the yeast and then stir to dissolve.
  • In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt and make a “well” in the center. Pour in the yeast mixture and stir just enough of the flour into it to make a soft paste.
  • Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let it sit for about 20 minutes in a warm location to make a “sponge”.
  • Pour in another half cup of water and stir, adding in more of the remaining water as needed to form a firm dough.
  • Knead for 10 minutes, put back into the bowl and cover with a dish towel.
  • Let rise for about 2 hours until doubled in size.
  • After the rise, punch it down and shape into a loaf.
  • Allow to rise a second time on a sheet pan, covered with a dish towel, until doubled in size again (about 45 minutes).
  • Cut a few slashes in the top of the loaf and bake at 425 °F for 30-40 minutes – it’s done when the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.

Notes

Note: if you, like me, have trouble finding a warm enough spot in the house to get the dough to rise, set the bowl on top of an electric heating pad (like you use for a sore back) set on low. This trick solved my flat bread problems.
Keyword homemade bread

Obligatory Fictional Backstory

The Bible says that “man cannot live on bread alone” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus was referring to the requirement for spiritual food here, but I set out to prove that in the physical realm, man can live on bread alone. I ate nothing but this bread for 30 days.

I got scurvy. And rickets. And dry eye (from lack of Vitamin A). I was hospitalized for malnutrition. Apparently man cannot live on bread alone, even in the physical realm. You need a good soup to go with it.

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