Bake Bread at Home

Get your cast iron French Ovens OUT! Making Bread at home and getting that perfect artisan crust is EASIER than you may think – Especially with Carrie’s go-to favourite recipes you are going to want to try this weekend! 

One of the most popular recipes The Times has ever published, courtesy of Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery. It requires no kneading and it takes very little effort — only time. You will need 24 hours to create the bread, but much of this is unattended waiting, a slow fermentation of the dough that results in a perfect loaf.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
  • ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed

PREPARATION

  1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
  2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
  3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
  4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart cast iron French Oven/Cocotte in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

The result – a beautifully golden crusty exterior and moist inside!

The ONLY thing better than the smell of homemade bread baking in your kitchen is EATING the freshly baked bread!

Another recipe Carrie often uses is the Le Creuset Aged Cheddar and Bacon No-Knead Bread!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp instant yeast
  • 1 ½ cup warm water
  • 1 cup grated aged cheddar cheese, divided
  • ½ cup and 1 tbsp of cooked bacon cut in pieces

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large bowl combine flour, yeast, salt, ¾ cup of grated aged cheddar cheese and ½ cup of cooked bacon pieces. Add water, stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest over night at room temperature.

Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel with flour, put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place the French Oven in the oven as it preheats. Carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. . Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes. Remove lid and add remaining ¼ cup of cheese and 1 tbsp of cooked bacon pieces. Bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.


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