Homemade Bread

OK this bread is perfect for bread and butter. It is my favorite right now. It’s super cheap and crazy easy. My neighbor has this book and gave me the recipe. The ingredients are 13 cups unbleached flour, 3 tbsp yeast, 3 tbsp kosher salt (never ever add table salt to anything you want to eat), and 6 cups warm water.

All you have to do is add the yeast to the warm water. let it proof for like 3 minutes. Mix the flour together with the salt. At this point I add about a 1/4 cup granulated garlic (not garlic salt) to the flour. Next you simply mix the water into the flour. Hand knead it until it forms a dough. This normally takes me about 2-3 minutes. Form into a ball, and sprinkle a little flour around dough. Cover dough ball with tea towel in large bowl.

After 3 hours, you’re ready to cook it. You don’t have to punch it down, or knead it more, or let it rise 20 times or anything. Seriously, I have cooked it about 1.5 hours after I mixed it. It came out perfect.

Ok, to cook it. Pre-heat oven to 450 with either pizza stone, or unglazed quarry tile (you can get one at any tile store). While your oven is preheating form about 1/4 of the dough ball into a long loaf. About 3 inches in diameter. Put a little flour around loaf so it doesn’t stick, and a little yellow cornmeal on the bottom. Now, you simply put the loaf on the pizza stone. Check it at 17 minutes.. if it’s light brown then take it out. Mine usually takes 23 minutes. The rest of the dough can be stored in your fridge for about a week.

A couple of variations.

(1st) I flatten out like a square pizza. Add about 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, 1 cup parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup kalamata olives. Roll up into a loaf. Seal all cracks by pinching the dough together. Brush top with the olive oil from the sun-dried tomato jar. top with about a cup of asiago cheese. Cook the same way as other loaf.

(2nd) Put some seasonings on your countertop… I use Parmesan cheese (here is the ONLY place I recommend dry), granulated garlic, kosher salt, chopped fresh parsley, black pepper, savory seasonings (unsalted). Roll your normal loaf completely around in seasonings until the entire loaf is coated in seasoning. Use a vegetable peeler to peel fresh parmesan. Lay the parmesan peels over the top of the loaf and bake as normal.

I have done more to the bread like making baguettes and things with great results. I’ve even used this bread for pizza dough and cinnamon rolls. Its great. Let me know what you think.

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