I got this recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day, and it’s amazing. I slightly lowered the amount of salt in the recipe, but it’s seriously a “no fail” technique for delicious crusty bread with a great texture. It requires no kneading, and you just dump all the ingredients into a big container, stir it around, put the lid on, let it sit on the counter for 2 hours, and tah dah. Bread dough. If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t.
This recipe makes about a dozen+ hamburger sized bread rolls, or 3 free-form loaves. I’ve only made the bread rolls and they’re awesome.
1 kilo (6.5 cups) unbleached all-purpose white flour (unbleached is important, bleaching changes the proteins in the flour)
1.5 tbsp yeast
1 tbsp table salt
1 tbsp white sugar
4 cups warm water (slightly warmer than room temperature)
1 large tupperware container or bucket with a lid (5 litre or 1.3 gallons in size, at least)
1 cookie sheet
Parchment or Wax Paper
1 baking pan to fill with water
1. Pour the water into the large tupperware container, and then add the yeast, warm water, sugar and salt. Stir until there aren’t lumps, then add the flour. Just stir it in until it’s incorporated. It’ll look wet but that’s fine. Cover the container, but not so it’s air-tight. Leave a corner open a bit.
2. Let it sit on your counter for 2 hours. After 2 hours, the dough should be about double in size.
3. Fill a baking pan with water and put it on the bottom of your oven. The extra moisture from the evaporating water helps to create a great crust when breaking bread.
4. Pre-heat your oven to 180C (350F).
5. Take the dough out and put it on a floured surface. Don’t add too much more flour, but just make it so the outside isn’t sticky. Form it into bread rolls, loaves, whatever you want. It works best freeform and not in a loaf pan.
6. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and put the bread rolls on. Slice X shaped gashes into the top of the bread rolls, about halfway through the thickness. This makes sure they can expand and not get all deformed.
7. Bake until the rolls are good and brown all around. For me, this took about 35 minutes.
My favorite version of this is making it into herb bread. Simple add 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp basil, and 1 tsp Italian seasoning.