Crusty White Bread Recipe

It's nothing like the bland, mushy supermarket stuff. Follow our white bread recipe and you'll end up with a loaf that's chewy and flavorful.

| December 2010/January 2011

  • white bread recipe
    The dough made from our white bread recipe will spread out. And note the large holes in the crumb. 
    PHOTO: JIM MACKENZIE

  • white bread recipe

This rustic white bread recipe spreads out as it bakes, which forms natural breaks in its surface crust, creating a dramatic presentation. This bread is made with fairly wet dough, which is a requirement if you want big holes in the crumb, and it’s leavened with a small amount of yeast, which provides the opportunity for a long, cool rise — overnight and most of the next day at a cool room temperature. The long, slow rise lets the yeast and various enzymes develop maximum flavor in the dough, and also makes for a chewy texture. You can put a crisp crust on any non-enriched dough (flour, water, leaven and salt; no eggs) by baking it on a baking stone and setting your home oven to its highest temperature.

Ingredients and supplies: 

1 pound unbleached white flour
1 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 1⁄3 cups water
Baking stone or cookie sheet
Pizza peel or heavy piece of cardboard
 

Note: If rehydrating yeast with water, subtract the amount of water you added to the yeast from the 1 1⁄3 cups in the recipe.



Instructions: 

Starting the night before baking day, in a large mixing bowl use your hands to mix the flour, yeast, salt, and enough water to a form a soft and sticky dough, though the exact consistency may vary with the flour used. Cover, and let the dough rise at room temperature. When you get up in the morning, wet your hands, lift dough onto a flat, wet surface, then gently stretch it and fold it in half 2 to 4 times. Return dough to the same bowl, cover, and let it rise until it has doubled in size. If you take the temperature of the dough with an instant-read thermometer and it’s below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, you may want to put it in a warm place, otherwise the rise may take until the afternoon.



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