The other night, I really wanted some fresh bread to go with dinner, and wasn't willing to settle for the same old story of unfortunate failure at creating the perfect loaf of ciabatta with big beautiful air pockets. In my quest for the next best thing, I stumbled across this lovely loaf namely called Basket Bread. As in...it fits perfectly in a bread basket.
Original I know, but it works, and is easy to pronounce unlike some of it's counterparts in my big fancy bread cookbook AND it can be brought from scratch to completion in a little under 3 hours. Fantastico!
Twisting the dough and dusting with flour prior to baking makes this loaf look like an artisan bread maker created it. They all think they're soooo fancy with their artisan style bread. Hate to break it to you, but like Gasteau from Ratatouille would say - Anyone can cook!
Waaa Laa. Doesn't this look delicious?!
Basket bread is incredibly simple to make, and has a fun twisted shape that makes it more unique than some of the other standard bread loaves out there. As a bonus, when I cut into it, this bread even had some of those elusive air pockets I have so much trouble with.
|Recipe adapted from Global Dish|
BASKET BREAD | Yield: 1 loaf | Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
2 1/2 C unbleached all-purpose flour (plus more, for dusting)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar or honey
1 C warm water
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Whisk flour, salt, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir in water and oil, and mix until combined. Using the dough hook attachment, knead the dough on medium speed for 5-7 minutes. The dough should be tacky, not sticky. Adjust flour or water as needed to reach this consistency. Shape into a ball and transfer to a large oiled bowl. Toss to coat dough on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap to trap the heat, and place in a warm, draft-free spot for one hour, or until doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and transfer to a clean surface. Shape into a log the length of a baking sheet, and roll (making a long breadstick shape) so the dough is about 1/2 inch thick. Grab each end and twist in opposite directions a few times; pinch the ends and tuck under. Transfer the dough to a sheet of parchment paper dusted with flour; and dust the top of the dough with more flour. Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap, and let rise for another hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and position the rack in the top-third of the oven. Transfer parchment paper and bread to baking stone, and bake 30 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden color and sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack 15-20 minutes before serving.
NOTE: If you plan to use a baking stone, you will need to preheat it with your oven so it doesn't crack.
What are your favorite bread recipes?