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Easy, wonderful bread recipe

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I know that lots of people have written about this, but I really like this recipe and when I tell my friends about it they always ask for it. Do I’m putting it here for me and others, if they’d like, to find and reference.

The recipe is easy because there are a few simple steps. It’s wonderful because it produces very tasty bread with a crisp crust and a great crumb.

I follow, with some variations, the recipe at the NY Times on this.
It’s really easy. There is also a video in which Jim Lahey, of Sullivan Street Bakery, demonstrates making the bread. His video recipe is a little different from the printed recipe, and watching it made me make a few changes to the recipe in the Times.

Here’s what I do.

  • Add walnuts, sunflower seeds – a small handful of each crushed in a motar & pestle and then put into the flours
  • 2 cups of organic unbleached white bread flour or 1 3/4 cups of the wbf + 1/4 cup of some other flour or meal, such as spelt flour or flax seed meal, if it is readily available.
  • 1 cup of organic whole wheat bread flour.
  • 1/4 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt.
  • Mix the dry ingredients, add 1 5/8 cups water and mix just until it comes together.
  • Cover with plastic, and let sit for 12 – 24 hours.
  • Follow the instructions in the Times recipe and the video for folding, resting for 15 minutes, and shaping into a ball.
  • Put flour, fennel seeds and wheat germ on a towel, wrap dough in the towel (see the video) and then let it sit for 2 hours.
  • Heat the oven according to the Times recipe, but heat it t0 550 with the pot the bread will be cooked in.
  • I don’t worry about the shape of the dough as it’s added to the pot, but I do put parchment paper in the pot just before adding the dough. That’s to insure there’s no sticking on the pot. All we have is Corning Ware and the first time I made the bread it did cook onto the pot.
  • Make sure the lid fits snugly trimming any parchment paper that may keep the lid from sitting tightly on the pot.
  • Bake for 32 minutes at 550.
  • Remove lid and bake for 10 -  15 minutes longer at 475. In most cases 14 minutes works well for me.
  • Take the bread out of the pot and put it in on a rack to cool.

Experiment and enjoy.

Lynn Richardson has experimented with this and suggests that for the floor use  5.5 ounces of organic whole wheat flour and 10 ounces of organic unbleached white bread flour. (February 17, 2008)

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