This Bread is one that Scott has been making for a few months now. At first I was a little intimidated because I haven’t been a successful baker (me and measuring haven’t traditionally gotten along), but after seeing him make it a few times, I got comfortable with it.
He makes a big batch of dough at the beginning of the week and we store it in the fridge and make a fresh loaf every couple of days. Planning ahead makes it super simple to have tasty, fresh warm bread in your kitchen nightly.
- 3 cups lukewarm water (not hot)
- 1.5 tbsp granulated yeast (I use rapid rise red star yeast)
- 1.5 tbsp kosher salt
- 6.5 cups (2lbs) unbleached all purpose flour
In a 5 quart bowl (optional with lid for storage), dump in water and add the yeast and salt. Stir.
Dump in flour all at once and stir with a long handled wooden spoon or dough whisk
Stir until all the flour is incorporated into the dough, it will be a rough, wet dough.
Put the lid on the container, but do not snap it shut. Gases from the yeast need to be able to escape. Allow the dough to sit at room temp for 2 hours to rise. It will fill the container as it rises. Do not punch the dough down.
You can let it refrigerate over the next two weeks up until you decide to bake a loaf of bread. It will settle as it cools but yeast will still be working.
When you are ready to bake a loaf of bread, do the following:
With floured hands, remove one large handful of stretchy wet dough from the container and place it on a floured breadboard or cutting board. With your hands, Roll the bread into a round shape, coating with flour to keep it from sticking to the board and your hands.
Let the dough rest at room temp for 40 minutes until it rises and spreads a little bit. Place the bread on a piece of parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 450 and place your pizza stone in the center rack.
Put a cookie sheet on the bottom shelf – water will be added to create steam to the oven.
Cut the loaf on top with 1/4 inch slashes using a serrated knife – this will allow the bread to expand as it bakes. Sprinkle coarse salt over the top of the bread.
Slide parchment paper with bread dough onto the pizza stone and add a cup of hot water to the sheet pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until bread is golden brown.
Use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven temperature is accurate.
Remove parchment paper after 20 minutes to crisp up bottom crust on bread.
Remove bread from oven after 35 minutes and allow it to cool on a bread rack until it is at room temperature.
Slice with a nice bread knife and slather with delicious butter!
My dogs would tell you that for homemade bread this good, only real butter will do!