You are going to love this bread recipe. It's the easiest thing in the world to make. Really. It's easy! And it's bowl to oven ready in less than two hours, which means you can whip it up after lunch and have it hot from the oven for dinner. I love the small boules, that are perfect for immediate eating or freezing. Or, you can eat one and gift one. Your friends might like that option.
So here's how this comes together. In a medium sized bowl, measure out 4 cups of flour or use a scale to weigh it to 512 grams.
Add 2 t. salt, 2 t.sugar and 2 1/4 t.instant yeast ( I like SAF). Stir.
Turn on your tea kettle and bring some water to a boil. In a 2 cup measuring cup add 1/2 cup boiling water and fill the rest with cold water. This results in the "perfect" temperature water for your dough. Pour water into flour and mix. The dough will be shaggy.
When dough is fully mixed, cover bowl with plastic wrap or a moist towel. Place in a warm area to rise for an hour to an hour and half. You will want the dough to double in size.
When dough is ready, take two forks and bring dough from sides of bowl in towards center.
Now take your forks down the center of the ball of dough, dividing it in half.
Using your two forks, pick up half of the dough and place in well buttered 1 qt. pyrex bowl. See how that works - no kneading! You never even touch the bread with your hands.
Set the bowls, uncovered, in a warm place to rise for about twenty minutes. Turn your oven on to 425 degrees to preheat while bread is rising. The bread is ready for the oven when the top of the dough crowns the rims of the bowls.
Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees and then lower the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for 17 - 20 minutes longer. Make sure the bread browns nicely in the bottom of the bowl, which might require a few extra minutes. If the top browns too quickly, cover with a sheet of tin foil.
Turn your bread onto a wire rack to cool. Resist the urge to cut right away. I know, it's hard.
I wish you could hear the lovely crunch of the crust when you slice in to this bread. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the inside of the bread. It has nice air holes and is soft and chewy. Truly, this is a delicious bread, perfect to accompany soup. It also makes the best avocado toast you can imagine.
You might be wondering by now, who is this Alexandra who created this amazing bread?
Meet Alexandra Stafford of "Bread, Toast, Crumbs" cookbook fame. You can follow her at her blog, alexandracooks.com. and on Instagram at alexandracooks, where you'll get plenty of inspiration to try all kinds of delicious recipes. You should!
Every now and then you come across a recipe that you know will become a part of your regular rotation, because you love it so much. This peasant bread has already made the cut. Thanks Alexandra.