In Appalachia, bread is a staple of every meal—cornbread, biscuits, homemade bread. Aside from just the fact homemade is always better, there are so many more reasons why you should try your hand at making bread at home.
- 1.) Homemade bread tastes better, and is totally customizable. You can add herbs, cheese, or virtually anything you like.
- 2.) Homemade bread doesn’t contain preservatives and additives big producers add for shelf life.
- 3.) Making homemade bread can be EASY and CHEAP!
Making homemade bread may be intimidating for beginners, but the recipe I’ll be sharing today is one sure to produce a beautiful loaf of homemade bread with very little effort and without the use of a fancy stand mixer.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 1/2 cups room temp In a large mixing bowl, add flour, salt and instant yeast.
Mix well with a spoon to incorporate all the ingredients. Slowly stir in the water until a rough chunky dough forms. Depending on the humidity of your kitchen, you may need to add just a tbsp or more of water to coat all the flour until it’s barely wet. Once mixed together, cover with plastic wrap and leave it sit on your kitchen counter overnight or for 12-18 hours.
The Next Day
The next day when you are ready to bake your bread, pop your Dutch oven in the oven as you preheat to 450°. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you can use an iron skillet and get the same effect by sitting a 8×8 pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven. Flour your countertop, turn the bowl over and dump your now bigger and bubbly dough on the countertop.
Remember do NOT knead the bread.
You simply want to form dough into a ball using floured hands. Kneading the bread will take those beautiful air bubbles out and this is what we want. Once formed into the ball, sit on parchment paper and covered with plastic wrap again while your Dutch Oven (or iron skillet) finishes warming up. Finally, remove Dutch oven from the heat, place dough ball and parchment paper in Dutch oven, cover with the lid, and place back in the oven to bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake for an additional 10 minutes to brown the exterior of the bread and give it that crispy crust.
Note if using iron skillet, bake at 450° for the entire 40 minutes. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Let cool completely before serving. It’s great to eat alone with butter, sliced for a sandwich or grilled cheese, or with garlic and herbs.
And if your family is like mine, there will be no waste!
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