Simple Crusty Bread Recipe

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This easy (and we mean EASY!) homemade French bread recipe is sure lớn be a hit! Homemade dutch oven bread that"s readyin just a few hours - no overnight rise. Crispy crust on the outside & soft, airy bread on the inside! Vegetarian.

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this recipe
WE NEED lớn TALK ABOUT THIS BREAD. ⬆⬆⬆⬇⬇⬇

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What you need khổng lồ know about this crusty bread:

It"s ready in under three hours. No overnight rise necessary!It"s ultra-forgiving. Read through ALL of our recipe notes for best results!YOU CAN MAKE THIS BREAD ⬇⬇⬇. I PROMISE.
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The basic order of operations for this artisan bread:

The instructions may look a little long, but they"reall basically just notes on technique - so don"t let the number of steps intimidate you!

After a couple of adventures with this bread, you"ll be able khổng lồ throw it together in your sleep.

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Mix the dough (10 minutes) This is a very slack dough (also known as a wet or sticky dough) - it won"t size a ball or be immediately elastic lượt thích some recipes you might be used to! The dough will be shaggy và somewhat sticky, but it will smooth out as the gluten develops while it rises và again when it"s time to shape.Let the dough rise (1 hour) Kick back, relax, và let your dough vày it"s thing!Shape the dough (5 minutes) Lightly flour a cutting board, tip the dough out, and gently form it into a round loaf (watch the videos below to lớn see exactly how we vì this!)Let the dough rise one final time (30 minutes) When your dough is shaped, pop it into a medium-sized bowl or proofing basket khổng lồ rise for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven. Let the bread cool, slice, & enjoy!
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If you"re serious about homemade bread, you may enjoy using a proofing basket (it"s one of my favorite kitchen tools!) khổng lồ help the bread keep its shape while it rises. You also over up with beautiful flour rings on the crust! We like to use an 8- khổng lồ 9-inch proofing basket for a single loaf of bread.

If you don"t have a proofing basket, no worries! Just use a medium-sized (8- or 9-inch diameter) mixing bowl to lớn let the bread do its final rise before you bake it. Flour the bowl well to lớn prevent sticking!

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The crackly brown crust here is theresult of baking this bread in a Dutch oven. By keeping the lid on while the bread bakes, you create a nice steamy atmosphere inside the pot - and the steam is what gives the bread that crispy, magical crust. (Read more about the importance of steam in bread baking here!)

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HOMEMADE BREAD FAQ

This section is LONG - but we wanted khổng lồ cover the most frequent questions we get! Feel miễn phí to skip right khổng lồ the recipe, but please vì chưng utilize this section if you run into questions while you"re baking. For additional training videos, tips, & recipes, check out Everyday Artisan Bread!

Can I use rapid rise or instant yeast for this recipe? Yes - just reduce the amount of yeast to lớn 1 ½ teaspoons (about 25% less than we use with Active Dry Yeast).
Can I double this recipe? Yes - double everything except the yeast in this recipe for best results*. After the first rise, divide the dough in half and form two loaves (our preference) or khung one large loaf. If you bake a large loaf, you will likely need to lớn extend the bake time & it may not cook quite as evenly - just keep an eye on it và use your best judgment! (*the converter in the recipe card below may tell you khổng lồ double the yeast as well, but you really don"t need to. We just can"t figure out how to turn the converter off *facepalm*)How should I store this bread? Store half-loaves cut-side down on a cutting board on the counter for up to 24 hours (no need to lớn cover!) khổng lồ keep the crust crispy và the interior moist. Store sliced bread in an airtight container in the freezer for 3-4 months (toast it up as needed!) or in an airtight container on the counter for 3-4 days. Freeze a full loaf by wrapping the bread in plastic wrap và popping into the freezer for 3-4 months, then defrost on the counter for a few hours when you"re ready khổng lồ eat (we prefer khổng lồ avoid plastic, but haven"t found a better alternative for this yet - bee"s wrap just doesn"t vì as good of a job here!)Can I make this bread with whole wheat flour? Yes! We recommend substituting no more than một nửa whole wheat flour for best results. Why don"t you transfer the dough lớn an oiled bowl during the first rise? We don"t find it"s necessary to showroom this extra step with this quick recipe, và we wanted to keep it as simple as possible. We just let the dough rise right in the mixing bowl & then run our hands under cold water to lớn coax the dough out without sticking when it"s time to tip the dough onto the cutting board. You can absolutely transfer the mixed dough to lớn a lightly oiled bowl for its first rise if you like! A previous version of this recipe had you showroom a dusting of flour during this first rise; we omitted this step in later revisions to lớn simplify the instructions.What is the hydration of this loaf? If you"re familiar with baker"s percentages, this bread is about 75% hydration by weight as written.
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