All I can say is this is the best, and I mean, THE BEST bread, that I have made in a little over an hour. I found this recipe when a fellow blogger shared this with all of us. All I can say is THANK YOU!
In the last few weeks I have made this loaf about 7 times. No lie, it turns out just like this picture …every…time! AMAZING!
You can find the original recipe on Carol's site. Pampered Chef Consultant-Carol's Corner is where you can find a ton of other amazing recipes that Carol is sharing…and there are a lot!
I have to admit that I love my stoneware. I have a lot. Not all of it is Pampered Chef. I have picked up several pieces at local thrift stores that come from all over the US. My loaf is round because I have a huge round stoneware bowl and a tart stoneware plate that works really well together. I use it similar to how Carol has used her oval stoneware set.
I will tell you a secret…I also used this recipe in two loave pans and covered the top with my stoneware cookie sheet…worked, again, like a dream.
The key is keeping the dough surrounded by the stoneware. It creates a lot of heat and gets the crust nice and crispy with out being thick and the center is tender and perfect for fondues, sandwiches, dips and toasted slices for spreads.
You will find that I have not changed Carols' ingredients only the process of making the bread. This is what worked for me and I like to make things simple.
Recipe: Carol's Rustic White Bread (My changes will be in red)
5-6 cups all-purpose flour (you can substitute whole wheat flour for 1 or 2 cups) (I have never had to use more than 4 1/2 cups, this may change depending on where you live: humidity and such)
2 tablespoons dry yeast (regular, NOT rapid rise, yeast)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups hot water (120° to 130°) Note: water temperature is critcial to proper yeast activation (If your measuring cup is cold, rinse it out a few times with warm water. This affects the temperature of your water if it uses all of its heat to warm the cup…your yeast may not proof right.)
Directions: (I have modified these from the original because I used my KitchenAid)
Grease the Deep Covered Baker or any other stoneware cookery item you are using.
Combine 4 cups of the flour and salt in your Kitchenaid bowl. In a separate 2 cup measuring cup add the sugar and the yeast. Let proof for 5 minutes. Add to the flour and turn your kitchenaid to a slow speed, otherwise the flour bounces out all over your counter.
Put the lid on the baker and place in a COLD oven. Turn oven to 400° and bake for 50 minutes. Remove from overn, uncover, gasp in amazement, remove loaf from baker to cool on a rack.
Carol's Tip: to slice bread set it on its side and cut wth a serrated bread knife. By cutting from the side you avoid crushing the flaky top crust.
Note: this recipe makes a VERY LARGE loaf (over 5 inches tall x 7 inches wide x 10 inches long). The Deep Covered Baker has a 3.1 QT capacity. If you use an alternate to the Deep Covered Baker please makes sure it's large enough for the recipe!