I have not met a carb I didn’t like. Like Oprah said in her Weight Watchers commercial, I LOVE BREAD! Rather than buying my regular crusty loaf on my weekly shopping trip, I decided to try my hand at baking my own. Surprisingly, it was not that hard to make. The hardest part was being patient and waiting for it to be ready. Between mixing, proofing, and baking, the entire process took a little over two and a half hours.
To help the bread look more beautiful, I used a proofing basket to give it the lines, and scored the top before baking. Fun Fact: In the olden days, communities used to share a stove and would score different designs into their bread so that they knew whose was whose. For more practical purposes, scoring the bread gives it room to expand when it is baking so it does not crack or burst. You really can’t go wrong with whatever design you do. Regardless of how it looks, it will taste incredible!
I want to see what you are making! If you make Crusty Bread, or any of my recipes, post your food photos with #KitchenCurious
Prep Time: 2 Hours
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
1 Package Active Dry Yeast
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1 ¼ Cups Warm Water
1 ½ Teaspoon Salt
2 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water. Let the yeast proof for about 10 minutes. You will know it is ready when it begins to foam or bubble.
Next, add the salt to the yeast mixture. Using the dough hook attachment of your mixer, slowly add the flour to the bowl and mix on low speed until all flour is incorporated. Once fully incorporated, turn off the mixer and dump the dough onto a clean surface.
Lightly flour all sides of your dough, then return the floured dough ball to the mixer bowl.
Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let rise for one hour, until the dough has doubled in size. If my kitchen is quite warm, I leave the dough covered out on the counter. If it is cooler, I place the covered bowl is my oven set at the lowest temperature it goes (150 degrees).
Once the dough has risen, lightly flour a clean surface and tip the dough out onto it. Sprinkle a little bit of flour the top of the dough, then begin shaping it into a round loaf. Once the loaf has been shaped into a nice rough ball, flour a proofing basket or a mixing bowl and place your loaf into it seam-side down. Cover again with a kitchen towel and let rise another 30 minutes on the counter.
While bread proofs in your proofing basket or mixing bowl, place an empty dutch oven, with the lid on, in your oven and heat to 450 degrees. Once the oven has preheated and your dough is fully proofed, carefully tip the dough from the proofing basket into the hot dutch oven, seam-side down. Then use a bread scorer to cut an X into the bread.
Carefully place the dutch oven, lid on, into the oven. Cook the bread for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the lid from your dutch oven. The bread should be crusty and lightly browned. Continue cooking, uncovered, for about 15 minutes until the bread has a nice brown crust. Once the loaf is baked, carefully remove the dutch oven from your oven. Remove the bread from the dutch oven and let fully cool on a cooling rack. Let the bread cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting into the loaf.