I know I have posted a bread recipe in the past but – thanks to my awesome high school friend Eva – I have an easier version for you. You don’t have to wait days and days until your dough ferments anymore, you just simply ad a package of yeast. Remember, bread-making is an artistry so don’t worry if your first one does not look like a magazine-cover snap shot!
PS: Also, if you have a baking stone, use that, but if you don’t just use a baking tray.
CZ: Sice jsem jiz v minulosti recept na cesky chleba publikovala, ale ted mam pro vas verzi mnohem jednodussi; nemusite kvasit svoje vlastni testo, proste tam hodite pytlicek s drozdim! Recept pochazi od me stredoskolske kamaradky Evy, ktera si ho velmi pochvaluje (a ja samozrejme take). A nevzdavejte to, kdyz se vam ten bochnik parkrat nepovede – to vite, peceni chleba, to je veda!!
PS: Jestli mate kameny pekac tak pecte chleba na nem, jestli ne, tak pouzijte tormalni pekac.
- 5 cups of flour: bread flour works the best (rye or whole wheat flours are harder to deal with)
- about 2 cups of flour to add to the dough (and onto your hands) while kneading the dough (step 3)
- 2.5 cups of tepid water
- 1 Tbs of caraway seeds
- 2 Tsp of salt
- 1/2 Tsp of sugar
- 1 package of quick-rising yeast
METHOD: 1. Mixing the dough
- In a large mixing bowl mix together half a cup of warm water, sugar and yeast. Wait about 15 minutes until the yeast rise.
- Mix in 1 cup of flour and stir well using a wooden spatula.
- Ad in the rest of the water (with the 2 Tsp of salt mixed in it) and the rest of the flour. Stir it vigorously until a sticky, thick dough forms – about 5 minutes. Remember, the longer you stir it, the more oxygen you let into the dough and more gluten forms, which means you will have a better bread!
- Stir in caraway seeds
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and let it stand in a warm place for about 2 hours, covered with a dish cloth.
2. Kneading the dough
- Dust a clean counter with flour
- Scrape the dough out of the bowl and knead it with smooth, steady strokes for about 8 minutes (keep adding a little bit of flour in-between strokes every time it starts to get sticky)
- Keep your hands floured but resist adding a lot of flour (PS: rye flour gets really sticky)
- Lightly cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes
- Remove the plastic and knead again until the dough is smooth and elastic (5 – 7 minutes more)
PS: You can also mix the dough in a bread machine, on medium-low speed for 7 minutes.
3. Devide and shape the loaves
- Cover a rimless baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside
- Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces with a chef’s knife
- Shape each piece into a round
- Dust the parchment paper lightly with flour and place the loaves on the paper about 3 inches apart, smooth side up.
- Sift some more flour over the loaves, as if you were dusting them with confectioner’s sugar
- Cover them lightly with plastic wrap and leave them at RT until they have inflated and bubbles are visible just bellow the surface (about 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours); when you press a fingertip into the dough it will spring back slowly.
- (OPTIONAL: About 1 hour before baking, place a baking stone on the middle rack of the oven) Place a cast-iron skillet on the lower rack. Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- (Slide the loaves, still on the parchment, onto the baking stone) Place loaves together with the baking tray and a parchment paper into the heated oven. Place 3/4 cup of ice cubes in the skillet to produce steam (the hard bread crust creates that way).
- Bake until the loaves are ruddy brown, 30 to 40 minutes
- Slide the loaves, still on the parchment paper, onto a wire rack so that cooler air can circulate around them.
- Cool for about 5 minutes and peel off the parchment paper
- Cool them completely on the wire rack for about 1 hour before slicing