Easiest Homemade Crusty Bread | Easy Country Style Bread Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: All
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 Large Loaf
 
Ingredients
  • Bread flour – 500 gm (4 cups)
  • Active dry yeast – 2 tsp
  • Salt – 2 tsp
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Water – 350 ml (1 & ½ cups)
Instructions
  1. Take the water in a glass or bowl and warm it up to 100 F. The water should feel just hot when touched. If it feels too hot, wait till it cools down a bit. Best way to achieve the optimum temperature is to use a thermometer; ensure the temperature is not more than 105 F as that will kill the yeast.
  2. Add sugar to the warm water. Sprinkle yeast on top of water and give a gentle mix using a fork or spoon. Let the water stand for 5 to 10 minutes or until the top of the water becomes frothy. Your yeast is now activated.
  3. Take the bread flour in a large bowl and add the salt to it. Make a well at the center and pour the yeast mixture. Using a long, firm wooden spoon, start mixing the water and flour. It will be sticky.
  4. Once all the water is absorbed, tip in the dough on a lightly floured worktop and keep kneading it until a smooth and elastic dough is formed. It would take about 10 minutes. If the dough feels too sticky while kneading, sprinkle little flour at a time.
  5. Place the dough in a large bowl and drizzle little olive oil on top of the dough to prevent the formation of a dry layer on top. Tightly cover the top of bowl with plastic wrap to trap the hot air inside.
  6. Leave the bowl in a warm place e.g. inside a switched-off oven for 90 minutes or until the dough is doubled in size. It may take little less or more time depending on your room temperature.
  7. After about 90 minutes, gently take the dough out on a floured worktop using a bench-scrapper. Divide the dough into 2 equal-sized portion.
  8. Take one portion at a time and start shaping the dough. Flatten the dough using your hand, then fold it in itself from all sides. Then shape it into a smooth & round ball keeping the seam side down. Repeat the same for other portion of the dough.
  9. Now take 2 deep bowls and generously sprinkle flour into each to coat the base as well as sides of the bowl. Carefully lift one shaped dough and drop it into one of the floured bowls keeping the seam side up. Sprinkle the top of dough generously with flour. Repeat the same with other shaped dough.
  10. Leave the shaped dough in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Also start preheating the oven at 230 C/450 F and place a covered glass (pyrex/borosil) casserole at the center of the oven. If you can bake 2 loafs simultaneously, then keep 2 casseroles together for preheating.
  11. After about 30 minutes, take the preheated casserole out and remove the lid. Carefully drop in 1 shaped dough into the hot bowl; smooth side should be facing up now as we had kept seam side up while the dough was left to rise.
  12. Make couple of incision on top of the dough using a very sharp knife. Also spray or sprinkle few drops of water on top.
  13. Cover the bowl with the lid and bake it at 230 C/450 F for 15 minutes. Then take the bowl out; remove the lid and bake it uncovered for 15 more minutes at reduced temperature of 180 C/350 F. Your bread must be beautifully brown on the top and sides by now.
  14. Transfer the bread to a cooling rack and bake the other dough similarly to make the second loaf. Let the breads cool down completely before cutting them.
  15. Cut the breads into slices, toast it with butter and enjoy freshly baked homemade bread!
Recipe by Flavor Quotient at https://www.flavorquotient.com/2020/05/easiest-homemade-crusty-bread-country-style-bread-recipe/