Delicious & Easy Home-Baked Bread

break bread with friends this holiday season

(recipe adapted from Jim Lahey with Sullivan Street Bakery)

Want to wow your guests this holiday season? This simple home-baked bread recipe will do the trick. No bread machine necessary, you just need to plan ahead.  Here's what you need:


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (more for dusting)
  • Water
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • Cornmeal, sesame seeds, or flour for dusting (I typically just use flour) 


In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and stir until blended (dough will be shaggy and sticky). Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest at least 12 hours (preferably 18) at room temperature (about 70 degrees). Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles.

* Dough will look like the images below...

Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. Sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Gently and firmly shape your dough into a ball and then coat a cotton cloth with flour, corn meal or sesame seeds. Put dough seam side down on the towel and dust with more flour, corn meal or sesame seeds. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about two hours. When it's ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

*See image below...

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat your oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6 - 8 quart cast iron pot in the oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from oven and place your dough in the pot (seam side up). It may look a little messy but that is fine. Shake the pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed. It will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake for 30 minutes. 

*Bread will look like the images below after this step...

Remove the lid and bake for another 15 to 30 minutes until the loaf is beautifully browned. Cool, serve and enjoy! This recipe will yield about a 1.5 pound loaf. I like to serve mine with olive oil, sea salt and rosemary on a shallow plate.

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