Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Amazing and easy bread!

My friend Jessica turned me on to this recipe for simple crusty bread from the New York Times that is....delicious and ....simple! I cannot believe that bread this good comes from yeast, water, and flour (and a bit of salt) but it does! I tried it both on the pizza stone and in a loaf pan, and it came out great both ways. I am amazed! You must try it!

Simple Crusty Bread

Adapted from ''Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,'' by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007)

Time: About 45 minutes plus about 3 hours' resting and rising


1 1/2 tablespoons yeast

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough


1. In a large bowl or plastic container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).

2. Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and cut off a grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.

3. Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.

4. Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Yield: 4 loaves.

Variation: If not using stone, stretch rounded dough into oval and place in a greased, nonstick loaf pan. Let rest 40 minutes if fresh, an extra hour if refrigerated. Heat oven to 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Place pan on middle rack.

P.S. Happy New Year!
P.P.S. Thank goodness my son goes back to school tomorrow... that's all I can say... thank goodness....


nachtwache said...

Sounds good.
Does your son have friends over and go to friends' houses to play, so he doesn't just drive his parents up the wall? And those opting not to have kids call us with kids -selfish- hah, yea right. Being a parent is the toughest job there is, also often amazing, but not easy.

Jeff Hertzberg said...

Hey, have your kids bake the bread. I'm Jeff Hertzberg, one of the co-authors of "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day," the book the Times recipe comes from. My kids do this as often as I can cajole them to.

If you have any questions about the method, comment into our blog at www.artisanbreadinfive.com.

Jeff Hertzberg