crusty bread, son!
Easy Crusty Bread
1. Pour a cup and a half of hot (not boiling) water into a mixing bowl and add a teaspoon of active dry yeast. Let it set for 5 minutes and if when you return the cloudy water is cloudy and there is an active foam bubbling on the top, your yeast is activated and you are ready for step 2.
2. Mix in 3 cups of flour (do not use all wheat flour, it won't rise. If you want wheat bread use half wheat and half white) a cup at a time into the yeasty warm water. Add a teaspoon of salt and mix it in as well while you turn the water into a sticky, even paste free of clumps.
3. now cover it with a cloth and leave it alone at room temperature for 8-12 hours.
4. When you return after your day at work, or after a night of sleep, check the bread dough. It should be bubbly and expanded in size. It is ready!
5. Sprinkle flour on your table and take out the whole doughy mass. Fold it over itself a few times and make it into a ball. You'll need flour on your hands to stop it from sticking. Now gently place the ball in your bowl again and let it rise back up for another hour or two.
6. Twenty minutes before you bake, turn the oven to 450 degrees and put your baking apparatus in at the same time you start the pre-heating. It could be a cast iron skillet, Dutch oven, Pyrex cake pan -whatever, but it has to heat up with the oven.
7. When it is heated to 450, take it out and place your ball of dough in it. It doesn't matter if it loses it's shape, it'll bake even.
8. Bake at 450 till the bread is browned, about 30-45 minutes. Keep an eye on it.
9. When it is done, take it out and let it cool before slicing, at least half an hour. Enjoy!