This bread is amazing and like the title says, it is sooo simple!
Crusty on the outside (thanks to cast-iron and water poured on top) and soft and chewy inside…It is like perfection of the bread world! Haha, well sort of. I can’t get over the amazing yeastiness of it either. That comes from the 24 hours of rising! The rising ferments the dough naturally kneading the dough and breaking down the phytates, which helps your body digest the bread better.
I got this wonderful recipe from Mrs. Di Lella, who got it from Nancy Baggett’s book Kneadlessly Simple.
Make sure you prepare ahead for this bread as it rises for 24+ hours.
4 cups flour (I used organic unbleached all purpose flour)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon yeast
2 cups icy cold water (yes, icy cold)
Mix, (I mixed with a wooden spoon and finished it off a bit with my hands to make sure everything was incorporated, since it was very hard to mix with a spoon. But, you do it how you want to), scrape up dough into bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set the bowl in a safe place (room temperature 60-70 degrees, no sun) for 24 hours.
Dough will now be all happy- grown, wet and bubbly! Stirdown and let rise for 45 more minutes (give or take- I did it a bit longer. It wont hurt the dough)
45 minutes after the stirdown, place cast iron casserole and lid in a 450° oven to preheat 15-20 minutes.
Remove pot carefully and dump in dough. Sprinkle with around 2 Tablespoons of water and quickly replace lid. Lover temperature to 425° and put bread in center of the oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Remove lid and bake an additional 10-15 minutes- until it is as brown as you want it to be. Turn out until cooling rack.
I really enjoy this bread and so does the rest of my family…especially my Daddy. 😉 I hope you will enjoy it too! 😀