The easiest bread you'll ever bake. Full instructions, with photos.
1. Gather ingredients and tools
2. Mix the dough:
Measure 1 1/2 cups of flour blend into the bowl.
Add 1 cup plus 1 TBLS warm water.
Stir until all the flour is wet.
Set dough aside to rest for 5 minutes. After this rest, beat dough vigorously for 50 strokes.
Although we recommend mixing by hand, you may use a stand mixer. If you do, stir first on low setting, let rest 1 minute,then beat on high for 1 minute.
3. Shape the dough into a loaf:
Grease a cookie sheet, or place a sheet of baker’s parchment on a cookie sheet.
Turn the dough out.
Use wet hands, a wet spoon, or a wet spatula to spread and shape the dough into a loaf shape. The loaf can be elongated or a hemisphere. NOTE: The more elongated a loaf, the faster it will bake.
Smooth the loaf thoroughly. The more you smooth it, the better the crust will be.
Let the loaf rest for 10 minutes.
4. Oil and bake:
Lightly spray or brush loaf with vegetable oil.
Position a rack in the middle slot of your oven. DO NOT turn the oven on. Place the loaf on its cookie sheet onto the rack.
Now turn the oven on and set it to 400 F/206 C.
When oven reaches full temperature, set timer to 90 minutes. NOTE: If your loaf is very elongated, check it after 45 minutes. It will bake quickly!
ALWAYS USE OVEN MITTS OR POT HOLDERS WHEN HANDLING HOT EQUIPMENT AND BREAD
At the end of the baking cycle, remove bread from oven.
The bread is done if it is nutty brown and/or if it sounds hollow when gently tapped.
Put the bread on a rack or screen so that no moisture is trapped underneath, and allow to cool at least 2 hours.
The 2 hour cooling time is critical for the bread to stabilize. Unstabilized bread is edible, but the interior will be moist, and the crust less crispy.
You can leave an uncut loaf on a counter, uncovered, for up to 48 hours.
After slicing, turn the cut side down and set on a smooth surface, like a cutting board. Bread will stay fresh another 48 hours.
We do not recommend storage in plastic except for freezing.
If you will not eat a loaf within three days of baking, freeze the bread after sealing tightly in a plastic bag.
No bread should ever be refrigerated.