Don’t stop reading: This bread has 4 ingredients, takes roughly 24 hours from start to finish – with about 15 minutes of actual work. And the results will blow your mind. Step-by-step instructions for the easiest, best home-baked bread ever.
Basically, you could easily do this every day and have home-baked bread with dinner every night, if you wanted to. Just put it together the night before, and finish the next day.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 heaping teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons table salt (not kosher, for once)
- 1½ cups warm (not hot) water
STEP 1: Add ingredients 1-3 into a large mixing bowl, whisk to combine thoroughly.
STEP 2: Make a well (or hole) in the middle of the dry ingredients.
STEP 3: Pour the water into the hole. A lot will over flow. This is okay.
STEP 4: Using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, mix everything together until an ugly, shaggy dough forms (this ugly dough will become beautiful bread)
STEP 5: Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and then with a kitchen towel. Yeast likes a dark, warm environment to do it’s thing. Leave somewhere in a warm spot in your house (the top of my study’s bookshelf is a great place at my house!). Allow to rest for 16-20 hours.
STEP 6: Uncover your dough. The dough should have filled in the bowl and probably doubled in size. There will be little air-bubbles on the top. This means the yeast did it’s magic. It will look something like this:
Step 7: Turn the dough out onto a very well floured piece of parchment paper. This dough is super sticky, so make sure to flour the top of the dough as well as your hands. Work it out into a big square, folding it over onto itself a couple of times. Then work it into a ball.
STEP 8: Place the ball (with the parchment paper) into a new bowl, and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rest for 2 more hours.
STEP 9: Place a dutch oven and its lid into your oven positioned on the center rack. Preheat oven to 450°F with the dutch oven inside. When the oven is up to temp, remove the dutch oven (remember, it’s really hot). Place the dough ball, parchment paper and all (the parchment paper should make it easier for you to maneuver the dough ball) directly into the dutch oven. Place the (hot) lid on the dutch oven and return to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
STEP 10: Remove the dutch oven. Remove the lid and using the edges of the parchment paper, remove the bread from the dutch oven. Place the loaf directly on the oven rack and bake for another 15 minutes.
STEP 11: Remove bread from oven. Allow to cool on a rack for another 15 minutes. Slice and enjoy. Bread will keep for a couple of days.