19_crusty_chewy_bread_p1090038_2
I got this incredible bread recipe form my dearest friend Robynn last year. I made only one loaf, but I should have doubled the recipe because it didn’t last past dinner. It is very crispy on the outside and very soft on the inside. As Robynn says,

"What you get is a crusty, chewy bread with big beautiful pores that can stand up to even the hottest French Onion Soup."

This is so easy to make because you don’t have to knead it. You just put the ingredients in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Enjoy!

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed

1.
In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water,
and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl
with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about
18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is
ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work
surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and
fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap
and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to
keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and
quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not
terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side
down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with
another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready,
dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back
when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough
is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered
pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When
dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under
towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a
mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly
distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and
bake 20 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 20 minutes, until
loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

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