When It comes to making bread, This rustic country loaf is my favorite. It is so easy to make and it is a no knead bread that turns out beautiful every time I make it. It has that nice soft and fluffy interior and a crispy outer layer that is all the things bread should be.
When I am in the mood to make bread to have as a side for our dinner or any family get together, this is the one that I make. It is simply beautiful and makes for the best center piece or any occasion. The smell of this bread rising permeates our entire home and sends me right back to my grandmothers kitchen as a child. I love making an array of foods that remind me of my childhood. I guess that a good majority of my recipes do that in some way or another. This exact recipe is the same exact recipe that my grandmother’s mother made and also how she ( my grandmother) taught me how to make this delicious bread. The vinegar in this bread is not noticeable and it just gives this bread that something… Do you need it? probably not, but I can taste the difference in the bread itself, texture wise. I try not to leave it out.
So let’s make some beautiful bread….
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/4 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3 tsp vinegar
- In a bowl mix the water, sugar, and yeast. Set aside to activate and proof the yeast.
- In a large bowl add the flour and salt. Mix together really well.
- Using a wooden spoon, mix in the vinegar and yeast mixture. Stir until the dough is slightly hard to mix. Using your hands knead the dough until the mixture just comes together. It should not be a smooth ball. It should still be rough looking. That is what you are looking for. If you need to see the texture check out my video. I’ll leave the link below.
- Cover the dough with a towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm draft free place. This is usually in my oven, laundry room, or on top of the fridge. If you put it in the oven do not turn the oven on. Let this rise for at least 12 hours. ( I will leave a faster version below)
- When ready, Place your dutch oven ( lid included) inside the oven and preheat the oven to 450*. Let both the oven and dutch oven get very hot. Please be careful handling the dutch oven and use oven mitts.
- In the meantime, remove the bread from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface and knead for 30 seconds only to shape into a ball shape. At this time you can cut slits in the top, or place a doily on top and flour to make a pretty design on top, or like me I just simply leave it flat on top until later. You’ll see later.. ( see picture)
- When the dutch oven and your oven is nice and hot, carefully remove the dutch oven and remove the lid. Place the bread dough into the dutch oven and lightly flour the surface if you have not done so already with a decorative design. Carefully place the lid back on and carefully place back in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes remove the lid and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and place the bread on a cooling rack to cool completely before cutting. If you cut when the bread is hot out of the oven it will crumble. So let the bread cool as much as possible before cutting. Use a bread knife to cut slices.
- For the quick version~ use 2 1/4 tsp of yeast instead of 1 1/4 tsp. Follow same directions. Instead of letting the bread rise for 12 hours you can let this bread rise for 1 to 2 hours and follow baking instructions. I make this bread either way depending on how much time I have. I love to let it rise for 12 hours because it allows the flavors to enhance even better. I do enjoy the quick version as well and it turns out just as delicious.
- You can add herbs, grated cheeses, sun dried tomatoes, or any other add in you enjoy. I often do this as well depending on the mood I am in that day. I do, most times, leave it plain and smear some butter on top or dip it in au jus from roast. It is so delicious and versatile. I adore this easy country bread.
- Storage. if you want to keep a crisp crust then just keep the bread on the counter uncovered. I do this for the day I am serving it on. I do place the bread in a ziploc bag after dinner because I do not mind the crust getting a bit softer. All breads are fabulous the day they are cooked. This bread usually lasts about 2 to 3 days in our home and I do keep it covered.
- If you would like to watch the video on how I make this bread you can click the link below. Don’t forget to subscribe before you leave so you get all of my video’s. I would greatly appreciate it.