Making homemade bread requires patience, a good recipe and, without a bread machine, the ability to knead the dough by hand. There are a variety of recipes for bread, including white, wheat and sourdough. There are also various types of yeast, such as active dry, fresh, rapid rise and sourdough yeast.Continue Reading
The recipe below is for a very basic bread, courtesy of Alton Brown from the Food Network website. The recipe makes one loaf and requires an intermediate cooking ability.
Very Basic Bread
Prep Time: 30 min.
Inactive Time: 12 hr.
Cook Time: 1 hr.
Ready In: 13 hr. 30 min.
Add 5 oz., flour, honey and 1/4 tsp. of yeast in a straight-sided container. Add bottled water, cover loosely and place in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.
In a mixer, add 11 ounces of flour, salt and remaining yeast. Add the starter from the refrigerator to the mix. Knead the mix on low until it is blended. Allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes before kneading again on medium speed for 5 minutes. The dough should be able to create a thin sheet without breaking and not be too sticky to handle.
Place a shallow pan with half of the hot water in the bottom into the oven on the bottom rack. Grease the sides of the straight-sided container and place the dough ball in it, then place it on the oven rack above the water. Allow to rise to double its size, about 1 to 2 hours.
Knead the dough on a floured surface. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before flattening the dough and then sprinkle it with cornmeal. Allow it to rest for an additional hour.
Heat an upside down terracotta dish in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the cornstarch and 1/3 cup of water in a small bowl. Brush the dough surface with the water mixture and make small 1/3-inch deep slashes in the top of the loaf. Place the dough into the terracotta dish and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Allow the bread to rest and cool for 30 minutes before slicing.