It’s no secret that I’ve had a recent love affair with baking fresh homemade bread as of late. There’s something about the smell that fills your home while it’s rising and baking that makes it worth every hour you wait for it to be ready to eat. Last weekend we had some friends over for a BBQ and knowing I was going to make this amazing Sweet Onion Crack Dip, I had to whip up a fresh loaf of bread. Wanting to try a variation on the plain white loaves I’ve created in the past, I decided to get creative and make a twisted loaf.
I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure if I sliced the dough in half and then twisted it back together if it would fall apart in the oven, but it didn’t! We will call that a success and I will definitely be making this loaf again soon. I might even try my garlic and butter recipe with it as well.
- 3 cups of lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
- 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Let’s get started:
- Mix the lukewarm water (I used tap water), dry yeast and salt together. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, you don’t need to wait for the yeast to absorb all the way before adding the flour. I used my KitchenAid Mixer with the flat beater to mix the ingredients, but you can do it with a spoon.
- Add all the flour at one time and mix thoroughly . You don’t need to knead it, just make sure the ingredients are mixed together well.
- Put your dough mixture in a container with a lid and be sure to leave an opening in the lid for the dough to rise. I recommend using a larger container. My dough rose double the size of the mixture if that helps.
- Let your dough sit out for several hours so it can rise. Once it has risen and deflated a little bit your dough is done. At this point you can cook it or put it in the fridge. I covered mine and put it in the fridge overnight.
- When you’re ready to cook your dough, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees and put the pizza stone on the center rack (if you have one, I used a cookie sheet) and broiler pan on the bottom shelf of the oven and let heat.
- Grab a piece, using flour to keep it from sticking to your hands and begin to shape it into a ball. I used a lot of flour to keep it from sticking during this process.
- Once you’ve rolled your dough into a ball, begin to roll it from the middle out to the ends to create an oval or longer loaf shape.
- Cut the dough down the center with a sharp knife until you’re 2-3 inches from the opposite end (see pic above), then twist your dough from the closed end to the open end. I used a little bit of water to stick the two open ends back together.
- If you want to create a fun design in the top of your loaf, use a knife to cut stripes into the top before it goes in the oven.
- Put some flour down on your pizza stone or cookie sheet to keep the dough from sticking while it’s baking. Before you close the oven put a cup of hot water into the broiler pan and then close the oven quickly to trap the steam. Be careful not to burn yourself while you do this.
- Bake at 450 for 30-40 minutes or until the outside gets a nice brown crust. I baked mine for closer to 30 minutes and the outside crust made that amazing crackle sound when I cut into it and the center was soft. Best of both worlds if you ask me.
Bon Appetite friends!
Have you tried making homemade bread?