Fast, Easy, Rustic Bread

Just about everyone loves homemade bread.  It can be very easy to make.  This is one of those easy recipes which could be your start to becoming a bread maker!  Or, it can just allow you to make a great bread to impress yourself, your family and your friends! Best of all, no kneading.

This recipe allows you the freedom to make 4 loaves of bread or more smaller loaves. You can bake all the loaves in one day or spread the baking out over a few days. 

Special requirements: a pizza stone or cast iron skillet, parchment paper.

681g lukewarm water
16g     kosher salt
923g   all-purpose flour (or replace 200g of AP flour with whole wheat flour)
14g yeast

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl until no dry spots remain.  This will yield a sloppy dough.  Cover and set aside for 3-5 hours; the longer the better.  It will appear bubby if the yeast has done its work.

Divide the dough into 4 or more parts.  Shape one part at a time into a ball by pulling the dough over itself.  The bottom will be rough looking and certainly not smooth.  Place on a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal and allow to sit for 40 minutes.

Sprinkle with flour and make 2-3 slices across the top of the loaf.

Place a pan in the bottom of the oven and add 1C of water when you place the bread in the oven. Place the dough, on parchment paper, on a preheated pizza stone or cast iron skillet and bake at 400 degrees 30 minutes.  Work quickly to keep the heat and steam in the oven.

Tap the bottom of the bread to check if done.  It will sound hollow. Internal temperature should be 190 degrees.

Adjust baking time if you make smaller loaves. (1/8th of the dough makes personal-sized loaves – think “bread bowl for soup” takes only 15-20 minutes to fully bake.)

If planning on stretching out the baking over a few days, refrigerate the dough and take out of the refrigerator one hour before forming shapes and allowing them to rest for 40 minutes.

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