Simple Crusty Bread

This is a dough you can make and keep refrigerated for up to two weeks. It's so nice to have freshly baked bread without all the hassle! Keep in mind though, that because of the long rise time, and the fact that you can keep it for so long, it does tend to be a bit more "sourdoughy." The recipe makes approximately three 1 1/2 lb. loaves.

1 1/2 Tbl. yeast
1 1/2 Tbl. coarse salt (I used a scant Tbl. of table salt)
3 c. lukewarm water
6 1/2 c. flour
Cornmeal (optional, if you don't use it, make sure you grease your sheet/stone/loaf pan)

Mix yeast and salt into the water in a large bowl or plastic container. Stir in the flour, mixing until there are no dry patches; the dough will be loose. Cover, but not airtight. Let the dough rise at room temperature 2 to 5 hours (I let it go for the full 5 hours).
Bake immediately, if desired, or refrigerate, loosely covered for up to 2 weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on the dough; cut off a grapefruit sized piece. Turn dough in floured hands to lightly stretch the surface until smooth and round on top and lumpy on the bottom. Heat oven to 450. Place dough on pan that has been greased or sprinkled with cornmeal. Let rise for 40-60 minutes. Place a broiler pan on the bottom of oven. Dust loaf with flour, slash top in a cross with a serrated knife. Pour 1 cup of water into the broiler pan; close oven door quickly to trap steam. Bake until well-browned, about 30 minutes; cool before cutting (yeah, like that would ever happen in my house :).

You could probably also shape these into individual rolls, but I would still bake them on a cookie sheet/stone because they are so nice and crusty!


  1. I make bread bowls with this recipe. They are perfect for soup. MMmmmmm

  2. I am making bread and milk for dinner to celebrate Pioneer Day so I think I will try this out.