Sunday, March 24, 2013

Crusty Fancy Bread

Just like expensive bakeries and elegant restaurants, now you will know the secret!

3.25 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1.5 tsp. salt
1.5 cups warm water
Baking dish with lid that can go in the oven.

Step 1: In your mixer (I used my Kitchen Aid) with the dough attachment add the unbleached all purpose flour, active dry yeast and salt. Blend together on a low speed for about 30 seconds.
Step 2: Take warm water from your tap (you want it to be very warm in order for the yeast to react).  Add to the dry ingredients slowly with a medium speed until it comes together.   Let the dough hook do the kneading for you, keep running for 3 minutes.  The dough should be sticky and wet, not dry.
Step 3: Take a large bowl, lightly spray with canola oil.  Then using a silicone spatula remove dough and place into bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm or room temperature space for 12-18 hours.  This is the only downside, you can't rush this step this is key to the process. 
Step 4: Pre-heat your oven 450 degrees, once up to temperature place the baking dish in the oven without the lid to pre-heat for 25 minutes by itself.  After placing the baking dish in the oven, lightly four a countertop and remove dough and place on counter to rest for the 25 minutes. 
Step 5: Remove Baking dish, pick up dough and place inside (be careful the dish is very hot!).  Place the lid on the dish and put in the oven for 25-30 minutes depending on your oven.  Then remove the lid and leave in the oven for 5 additional minutes. 
Step 6: Remove dish from oven and place loaf onto a cooling rack and let set for 10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!!!

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