Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Basic Crusty Bread

Baking a loaf of bread from scratch can be very intimidating. It was for me at least. But the force behind giving it a try is not to feed my family a store bought one full of preservatives and chemicals. And I could not be happier that I tried and It was well worth the effort. Nothing can beat a warm slice of bread with a slice of cheese or a dab of butter.
It just needs a handful of ingredients and a lot of patience, the results will not be disappointing. Here is how it goes:


Flour                   2 cups + for dusting
Yeast                  1 tsp
Salt                     1 tsp
Water                 1 1/4 cup
Sugar                  1 tsp
Corn Meal          1/2 cup


  1. Add flour and salt in a bowl and mix.
  2. Warm the water where it is comfortable to touch. Add sugar and yeast and let the yeast bloom.
  3. Once the water is all bubbly and frothy, add to the flour mix. Using your hands or the wooden spoon, incorporate water into the flour.
  4. Dust the surface you are using to kneading with the flour and invert the flour mix over. Knead the flour flour for 8-10 mins. Do not add a lot of flour while kneading. Dough is going to be sticky, thats how you want it.
  5. Oil a bowl big enough to hold 5-7 cups of mix and put the ball of dough in.
  6. Cover and let rest till its double in size around 90-120 mins.
  7. Dust the surface again and invert the risen dough. Trying not the deflate much, cut the dough into three portions.
  8. Flatten the dough very gently and roll it like a cigar into a log.
  9. Spread the corn meal on the bottom of a cookie sheet and place the logs 4 inches apart.
  10. Make slits on the top by using a very sharp knife. Cover with a wet cloth and keep at a warm place for the dough to rise around 45-60 mins. 
  11. Place a heavy cast iron pan in the bottom rack of the oven and preheat your oven at 500. Start preheating right when you are done with making the logs.
  12. When the logs have risen, Add cold water to your pan in the oven. It will create steam instantly which helps to develop the crunchy crust on the bread. Place the baking sheets on the medium rack of the oven and bake till golden brown on top around 20-25 mins. To check if the bread is cooked through, just knock on it using your knuckles and sound should be hollow.
  13. Immediately turn them onto a cooling rack if using later or serve right away.

You can top it with sesame or black seed if desired.


  1. Corn meal is coarse grind if corn. If you dont have it, you can use semolina instead.