This bread, y’all. Aka “that good bread” according to Jack. And it. Is. GOOD. Crispy crust, chewy inside, and stupid easy. The only downside is that it takes a while to proof so you can’t have it IMMEDIATELY. I’ve made a loaf a day for the past… 5 days? 😬 We’re obsessed. Perfect with soup, dipped in olive oil with some Italian seasoning, slathered with butter fresh out of the oven…. just try it, okay??
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tsps salt
- 1/4 tsp yeast
- Combine ingredients in a large bowl, then mix with 1 5/8 cups of water.
- Cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit for 12-18 hours (the longer the better), keeping it relatively warm- about 70 degrees. If your house is cold (like mine can be) you might put it somewhere it’ll get warmth from sunlight or near a heat source. It’s ready when little bubbles pop up on the surface, like this.
- Next, lightly flour a work space. I find my silicone mats work well for this. Turn the dough onto the surface and fold it just a couple of times, then cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
- Now flour your hands and work surface just enough that the dough won’t stick. Generously flour a cotton dish towel. Work dough into a rough ball shape, then place seam side down onto the towel. Lightly flour the top of the ball, then cover with another cotton towel. Let sit for 2 hours. You’ll know it’s ready if you poke it, and the indent stays. Pitting edema, if you will. (Occupational humor.)
- About 30 minutes before the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The original recipe says to put your pot in the oven as it heats, but I’ve not found this step necessary. I also don’t have a Dutch oven, but my 6 qt stockpot has worked just fine. Slide your hand under the bottom towel and flip dough into the pot. Shake it a little so it distributes a little more evenly but no worries- it’ll fill out as it bakes.
- Cover with a lid and bake for 30 minutes. Look at it. JUST LOOK AT IT.
- Remove lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes until it’s an even nicer golden brown.
- Try not to devour in an instant. We’ve tried, and failed miserably.
Wasn’t that easy?! I’ve been intimidated by bread for so long but this recipe is so simple and the results are consistently delicious. Big thanks to The New York Times for this classic!