A New Area of the Kitchen

Making bread has always been a culinary road I have been nervous about taking.  It turns out that bread making is not only relatively easy, but one of the most rewarding cooking experiences.  I’m actually a big fan of recipes that take all day, but that you can walk away from at various points.  Bread allows you to accomplish all your daily tasks, but keeps you coming back to check on your progress.

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The first bread I tried was a basic white sandwich bread.  This past weekend I tried an artisan skillet bread, which was simple and filled the house with delicious aromas.  The skillet bread did not require kneading which added another level of ease,, so I thought I would share the recipe for it on here.

Skillet Bread

2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast

2 cups lukewarm water

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

4 1/3 cups of all purpose white flour

canola oil

Combine the yeast and warm water in a large bowl.  For water temperature, you want it warm enough to hold your hand in comfortable.  Wait a few minutes for the yeast to dissolve.  Using a wooden spoon, mix in 1 cup of the flour and the salt and mix until combined.  Slowly add the rest of the flour, one cup at a time, until fully incorporated.

Cover the bowl with plastic and allow to rise for one hour.  If you are like me and keep your house minimally heated in the winter, make sure to let it rise in a warm area.

Oil the bottom of your skillet lightly – I used a 10″ skillet for my bread but you can use larger.

Once risen, sprinkle flour on the top of the dough, your work surface, and your hands.  Carefully shape the dough into a disc shape.  You do not want to do any kneading or pouch down the dough.  Place the dough in your skillet and cover, allow to rise for another 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.s

Lightly oil the top of the bread and slash across the top.  Sprinkle with coarse salt and allow to bake for 40 minutes.

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This super easy bread was a hit with my family and goes very well alongside a tasty entree.

After just a few recipes I’m finding the bread is not as intimidating as I thought.  I’m looking forward to trying several more types of bread over the winter, and sharing my discoveries here.  I encourage you to try making your own bread as well.  I’ve heard bread referred to as the most comforting food, and I have to agree.  So take advantage of the long winter days and warm up your house with a fresh loaf!

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