- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (2 ¼ to 2 ¾)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- You can make this bread dough in a number of different ways. The simplest, by far, is in a food processor using the plastic dough blade. Pour the warm water into the processor and sprinkle the yeast and sugar on top. Put the lid on the processor and pulse for a split second, just to wet the yeast. Add 1 cup of the flour, process for 10 seconds, and let rest for 10 minutes. This gets the yeast going, lets the flour start to absorb the liquid, and is a good time to do the breakfast dishes.
- Add the remaining flour, between 1 1/4 and 1 3/4 cups, and process for 1 minute. You'll need about 1 1/4 cups in the winter, 1 1/3 cups in the summer, and 1 1/2 cups in the spring or fall; because flour absorbs moisture from the air, and the air is moister in summer than winter, the amount of flour you'll need in your bread recipes will be less in winter, more in summer. You're trying to attain a very slack dough, one which will barely form a rough ball in the food processor.
- Remove the dough from the food processor bowl, place it in a large, lightly greased bowl, and cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Set aside and go on about your work.
- You can also make this dough in a mixer, such as a Kitchen Aid, or even a smaller stand mixer, using either a dough hook or dough "beaters." Follow the same procedure outlined above.
- Guess what? You can even do this in your bread machine. Simply put all the ingredients in at once, let the machine go through its first knead (25 minutes or so), then take the dough out of the machine and put it into a lightly greased bowl. Reset (turn off) the machine.
- Finally you can do this with - gulp! - your hands. Combine the ingredients with a spoon, then knead it with my hands in the bowl for 1 minute.
- Ten or 12 hours later, or when you get back to it, take the dough out of the bowl and make it into whatever you want. You'll have enough dough to make eight rolls, eight chewy, substantial breadsticks, one Italian-style loaf or baguette, one round loaf, or a 12-inch focaccia. I usually opt for the focaccia, drizzling it with olive oil, then sprinkling it with a healthy amount of black pepper, a bit of salt, and some rosemary.
- Let the dough rise again, for an hour or so, until whatever you've shaped is good and puffy. Preheat the oven to 450F about half an hour before you want to bake the bread.
- Bake the bread for 15 to 20 minutes, misting the inside of the oven with cold water from a clean plant mister three or four times during the first 5 to 8 minutes of baking, if you're after a very crisp crust. Remove the bread from the oven when it's golden brown, and cool it on a wire rack or bring it to the table and eat it immediately
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.