There’s nothing better to eat than a home baked loaf of french bread. From the start of our marriage, Mike asked me to learn how to make a really crusty bread. So I bought a bread machine. Sure the bread tasted good. But where was the hard crust? So a few years ago, I contacted the master bread maker in our family, Judy. She has so many different types of flour in her pantry. She emailed three recipes to me. I’ve still only made one. But I continue to make it over and over again. This bread is so easy you won’t believe it!
I use an old cast iron pan that my mom got as a wedding gift. I never wash it out. Nothing but my bread is cooked in it.
Speedy No-Knead Bread
3 cups bread flour
1 packet rapid rise yeast
1 1/2 cups Water
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
Oil as needed
1. Combine flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add 1-1/2 cups water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest about 4 hours at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
2. Lightly oil a work surface and place dough on it; fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes more.
3. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6-to-8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide the dough and put it into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
4. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 10 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
Yield: 1 loaf