crusty sourdough bread


Thanks to my friends at Le Creuset, I have had the opportunity to work with some gorgeous new cookware. Aside from soups, stews, and other hearty mains, I have started creating desserts and loaves of bread. This sourdough recipe is really simple, and it is great for someone who has never tried making bread. This bread is guaranteed to taste great! It can be made ahead because it actually tastes just as good up to 4 days after baking. To reheat, place it in the oven for a few minutes before serving. It is a great accompaniment to my recipe for cream of sweet potato soup.

Try it this week and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

4.5 cups bread flour, plus extra

1/4 teaspoon active-dry yeast

2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1.5 cups filtered water

2 tablespoons cornmeal

Directions:

1. Use a whisk to combine the flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the water and stir until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 hours.

2. Next, place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Punch down the dough and flip it over a few times. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rest for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes has passed, shape the dough into a ball. Coat hands with some flour, if needed, to prevent sticking.

3. Sprinkle the tea towel with half of the cornmeal and lay the dough on top of it, with the seam side down. Sprinkle the top of the dough with the remaining cornmeal and cover with the towel. Allow to rise for another 2 to 3 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.

4. Preheat the oven to 450F. Place a large French oven in the oven while it preheats. Once the dough is ready, carefully transfer it to the pre-heated Dutch oven.

5. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake until the bread reaches an internal temperature of 210 to 212F, another 15 minutes. Transfer the bread to a cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

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