My sweet friend Alexis captures the fun I have getting my hands dirty.
Bread with butter is all I need to live.
Anyone can make this easy bread that is simply perfect with a thick slab of butter, or being dipped in warm olive oil infused with herbs.
The Perfect Boule: Makes 1 loaf
6 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups warm water (not lukewarm)
1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tbsp salt
Pour warm water into a medium size bowl.
Sprinkle yeast over the surface of the water in an even layer. The yeast will dissolve into a thin layer.
Measure out flour and salt into a large bowl. Whisk together to thoroughly incorporate the salt.
Add the yeast mixture to the dry mixture and mix until combined. The dough will be very sticky; resist the urge to add more flour just yet.
Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to sit in a warm place overnight, or for at least 8 hours. The dough will have doubled in size and will have many air pockets.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Put your dutch oven immediaitely into the oven to heat up while you finish the dough. It should be in the oven at least 20 minutes prior to baking the dough.
Flour your work surface and scoop your dough onto it. Keep incorporating small amounts of flour into the dough until it no longer clings to your hands.
Shape the dough into a boule and put into your preheated dutch oven. Bake with the lid on for 35 minutes, then remove the lid and allow the bread to bake for an addition 20-25 minutes. This allows for steam build up which makes a delicious crackly crust.
Immediately remove the loaf from the dutch oven and place on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes. The bread still has plenty of baking to do on the inside and cutting into it any sooner will result in an unfinished and doughy texture.
Serve alongside soups, chili, slather with butter, Nutella, or use to make grilled cheese sandwiches.