I have known for weeks I have to get back into my bread making. There is something wonderful about warm bread fresh out of the oven especially in winter (and winter is coming quick here in Maine we already had one snowstorm)!
This oven baked round loaf I have been making for a few years now is really easy, It is basically the same as my pizza dough except in how I cook it. It is also really easy to double, triple, or quadruple the recipe and freeze the loafs to use over the course of a few weeks.
To start things off I mix 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (I use King Arthur brand), 1/2 tablespoon instant yeast, and a 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Then I pour in 1 cup warm water and mix together with a wooden spoon. Once combined I put plastic wrap over the bowl and let it sit on the counter. After four hours or so of chasing maniac kids around and picking up toys I return to the kitchen for phase 2.
By this time the dough has risen and it should be bubbly on top.
Then I remove dough and place on a sheet of parchment paper in as close to a round ball as I can (it will be sticky). I place a clean kitchen towel over it to let is rest and rise again for another 30 minutes while the oven and pizza stone preheat at 450 degrees.
Once the oven is preheated and dough has had a chance to settle I use a bread knife and cut slits into it. Then I sprinkle about another teaspoon of kosher salt over the top. I use my pizza peel to transfer to my preheated oven on top of the pizza stone.
Thirty minutes later I remove it from the oven to let the bread rest on the counter. This step will be near impossible as I find myself staring at the bread wondering what is the soonest I can cut it without it being too hot and falling apart. I usually plan to let it cool one hour, then after thirty minutes I convince myself it is ok to try at this point. I was blessed with very little will power so it doesn’t take much to convince myself of these things!
We use this bread for all kinds of things in our house. It makes great toast with butter or our homemade strawberry jam or crabapple plum butter. It is also great to slice and make homemade garlic bread for spaghetti nights.
If making multiple loafs once they are completely cooled I just toss them into gallon freezer bags and put in freezer. You will only get 2-3 days before they get hard if left on the counter but we rarely have a problem eating one of these in two days with all the mouths we have in our house!
- 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 tablespoon instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 1 cup warm water
- In a large bowl mix flour, yeast, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 cup warm water until combined,
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise 4 hours.
- Remove from bowl and place in ball on parchment paper.
- Cover dough with clean kitchen towel and allow to rise another 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven and pizza stone to 450 degrees.
- Uncover dough and cut slices into bread,
- Sprinkle top of bread with the other teaspoon kosher salt.
- Transfer to oven on top of pizza stone and bake 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool 1 hours before enjoying!