I cannot remember where I found this recipe. Somewhere online. Maybe Mother Earth News. Anyway it is utterly the best crusty bread recipe. I usually make two loaves at a time. Sometimes I bake them in ceramic or cast iron pots and sometimes I bake them on my bread stone. They always come out perfectly yummy. (Except when I forget to add the salt to the dough!)
This bread can be served for so many meals. We toast it and serve with eggs at breakfast. It is an amazing soup bread. We have used it for sandwiches and it is amazing. A little chewy on the crust but still delightful. I do freeze a loaf occasionally, but after it thaws it isn’t as crispy. It still keeps its great taste though.
Here is the recipe I use:
1/2 tsp. yeast
3 cups of warm water
6 cups of white bread flour (feel free to mix other types of flours)
3 tsp. salt
Mix all ingredients into a large bowl. (Don’t forget the salt) It won’t look like regular bread dough. It will look a little wet and sticky. That is fine. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit overnight. I have let it sit for two days before when I got busy and the flavor is even better. Sprinkle flour on your counter. Dump dough onto flour. You do not have to knead this dough, but you will want to make it a little less sticky. I just roll it around in the flour until it isn’t so wet. Form it into two mounds. Cut a piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle more flour or corn meal down on the paper. Lay the mounds on the paper so they are not touching. Sprinkle a little more flour on the tops of the mounds. Cover with a light towel. Let sit for about an hour, maybe less. About 15 minutes before you are ready to bake preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place your two cast or ceramic pots inside the oven uncovered while the oven preheats. If you are using a stone place it inside now as well. When the oven is preheated place the mounds in the pots. This can be kind of tricky because the dough is so soft. Also be careful because the pots are very hot! Don’t worry about messing up the nice little mound because it will form again in the oven as it bakes. After you plop it in the pot give the pot a little shake to spread the bread out a bit. If you are using a stone this is not necessary. Cover pots and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes. If you are using the stone there is no need to cover. After the 45 minutes of bake time you should have yourself a wonderfully delicious loaf of bread! Now just try not to cut into it right away and have a bite. I dare you.