Pho - Vietnamese Soup

Pho - Vietnamese Soup
One of our favorite dishes - Pho

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Easy Crusty Artisan French Bread

Happy Summer to all!  In preparation for another epic road trip I made the Decadent French Toast Casserole recipe I previously posted.  That recipe is super easy to make ahead of time and it's easily transportable and most importantly, it's a crowd pleasure.  I used this recipe for the French bread called for in the casserole, which was perfect for a smaller square pan that will fit in our toaster oven on that's conveniently stored on our bus.

Yes, another road trip is in full swing as I'm writing this.  Of course, complete with family and friends.  David and I both will keep a travel journal of sorts here, along with good RV'ing recipes, for anyone who cares to keep up with our travels and our newest Foodie craze...whatever that might be. First stop Santa Fe!! 

Here's a somewhat quick homemade bread recipe that is super easy to whip up with only 5 ingredients.  Let the dough rise for a bit and then simply use your Dutch Oven in your oven to bake.  No need for a bread making machine.  The longer you let your dough rise the better and more airy your bread will be.  Serve this with dinner slathered with butter or use for hearty sandwiches.  The biggest bonus is how awesome this makes your home smell. 

Happy cooking and safe travels everyone!  xoxo

2 - 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 - 1/4 cups warm water (about 100 degree F)
1 - 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
3 cups All-Purpose Flour, plus extra for dusting

Combine yeast, sugar and warm water in a large mixing bowl.  

Let the yeast proof (sit) for about 5 - 10 minutes, until the mixture looks nice, foamy and is bubbling.

Add Kosher salt to the bowl.

Add flour to the bowl a little bit at a time.  Mixing with a wooden spoon until well incorporated.  Lightly flour all sides of your dough (don't mis the flour in - it's just to keep the dough from sticking) and turn it over inside the mixing bowl to coat with flour on all sides.  Cover with a tea towel and let rise on the counter for 8 - 12 hours.  If you need to fix this super quick you can let the dough rise for an hour.  Although it will be more dense and less airy.

When the dough has risen, lightly flour a large cutting board.

Tip the dough out of the bowl and onto the cutting board.  DO NOT PUNCH THE DOUGH DOWN - you want to keep all those nice air bubbles intact so you have an airy, delicious loaf of bread.  (Note: If the dough is sticking to the bowl a bit, just wet your hand with a bit of water and gently seperate the from the bowl to get it all out).

Sprinkle a bit of flour across the top of he dough, then begin shaping it into a round loaf.  One method is to pull each corner of the dough towards the center, like folding an envelope.  Then flip the dough over and form it into a nice, round loaf.

Flour your cutting board and place your loaf onto it seam side down.  Cut an "X" with a knife on top of your loaf.  Cover with a tea towel and let rise another 30 minutes or so.

While the dough proofs, place an empty Dutch oven with the lid on and in your oven while the oven preheats to 450 degrees.

When the oven is hot, you're good to go.  USE OVEN MITTS to pull the Dutch oven out and USE MITTS to remove the lid. 

VERY CAREFULLY - without burning yourself - place the dough "X" side up into the very HOT Dutch oven

Put your oven mitts back on, put the 

Dutch oven lid back. On the pot and slide the whole thing back into your hot oven.

Cook bread foe 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, using your mitts again, remove the lid from your Dutch oven.  The bread should be crusty and lightly browned.  Continue cooking uncovered, for 10 - 20 minutes more until the bread has deepened in color and you have a beautiful golden brown crust.  

When bread is done, use oven mitts to pull the pot out of the oven.

Use a long spatula to very carefully lift the bread out of the Dutch oven and onto a cooling rack.  Let cool for 10 minutes or so before slicing it.  Slather with butter if serving with your meal and enjoy!

**This recipe is adapted from and