Farmhouse Crusty Bread
Easy, yes it is. Delicious, yes it is.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast OR 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 to 115degrees F)
In a large bowl, whisk some flour, salt and yeast until well mixed. Pour in warm water (about 110 to 115 degrees F, or just slightly warmer than lukewarm) and use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture until it forms a wet, sticky and shaggy dough. That’s it! No kneading, no nothing. Just cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for at least 8 hours (but no more than around 18 hours).
Heat your oven to 450 degrees F, and place a covered Dutch oven on the center rack to preheat for about 30 minutes (I used a 6-quart Dutch oven, but even a 4-quart or 8-quart Dutch oven would work). Meanwhile, punch down the dough(that’s my favorite part, next to eating it) and, using very well-floured hands (the dough is pretty sticky, remember!), transfer the dough to a well-floured sheet of parchment paper. Shape the dough into a ball and sprinkle the top lightly with more flour. Cover the dough with a sheet of plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
When the dough is fully rested, remove the Dutch oven from the oven (careful, it’s very hot!) and place it in the Dutch oven with the parchment paper underneath. If the bottom of your Dutch oven isn’t enamel-coated, it’s best to use the parchment paper. Mine is enamel-coated, but I find it easier to keep the round shape of the dough if I just place it in the Dutch oven with the parchment paper. and it makes removal easier later.
Cover the Dutch oven and return it to the oven. Bake the dough 45 minutes covered, then another 10 to 15 minutes uncovered until the top of the bread is a lovely golden brown.