So, when I want fresh bread at home, I make no-knead bread, based on the recipe in the New York Times. It couldn't be easier, and it turns out a delicious loaf every time.
No-Knead Bread (makes 1 loaf)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (I found bread flour did not result in as good a texture)
- 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 5/8 cups water
When the dough is dotted all over with many small bubbles, it's ready. Coat the dough with flour and fold it in half once or twice and let it rest for another 15 minutes or so.
Shape the dough into a ball, seam side down, and put it in a dutch oven or other heavy, oven-safe pot that has a lid. Dust with flour again if necessary and let rise for another 2-3 hours.
Bake at 450 degrees--30 minutes with cover and another 15-20 minutes uncovered to brown. You will want to check this frequently because cooking time will differ slightly depending on the pot you cook it in. Finished bread will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.