Here is another bread recipe that I use quite often. It is a lot faster, you don’t have to plan ahead, but you do have to knead it. But that’s okay. Some people are afraid of kneading. It’s not that bad. It’s a stress reliever for me. You basically just push and prod and twist and turn the dough for 5-10 minutes. Good forearm exercise 🙂
Easy French Bread
3 cups flour
2 tsp yeast
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp olive oil (optional, I like to add it to dough when I’ll be kneading it)
1 1/4 cup warm, not hot, water
1. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Pour in the olive oil and water. Stir in, reserving a little of the water. Even if it doesn’t look like the flour will be all incorporated, there’s moisture hiding in it.
3. Start mixing and kneading with your hands, adding more water if necessary. It shouldn’t be sticky and should be elastic by the time you’re done kneading.
4. Fold into a ball and place it into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out and let it rise for 30-45 minutes.
5. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees, place a ceramic dish with a lid into the oven to preheat for 15 minutes.
6. You can either line your dish with parchment paper or a layer of cornmeal so the bread doesn’t stick. Then place your dough in the pot, put the lid back on and bake for 30 minutes.
7. Remove the lid and bake for 5 more minutes to brown the dough and remove from the oven.
Remember to wait for it to cool (at least a little) before you slice into it!