Son-in-law Vladimir is one of those creative guys that likes to experiment occasionally with cooking. He started me on baking easy crusty bread. I have added to and taken away ingredients to perfect this wholesome bread.
1.5 T dry active yeast
1.5 T kosher salt
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill 10 grain cereal
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
In a large bowl, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water. Mix all dry ingredients until cereals and seeds and flours are well integrated. Stir in flour mixture, mixing until there are no dry patches. The dough will be loose. Cover bowl with a towel. Let dough rise 2 hours (or up to 5 hours.) At this point dough can be separated into pieces, wrapped and refrigerated for baking another day.
- Place a baking stone on the middle rack of oven. Place a ban (I use the broiler pan that came with the oven) in the bottom rack. Preheat oven to 450 for 20 minutes.
- It’s a matter of preference what size pieces to bake. You can bake to large oblong or round loaves, three long baguette shapes or several mini baguettes.
- Cut out a piece of dough, using some all purpose flour to form and smooth out the bread shape.* Turn the in your hands to stretch the surge, created a rounded top (bottom will be a bit lumpy.)
- Put the dough on a wooden pizza paddle sprinkle with cornmeal. Let rest 40 minutes.
- Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide onto hot stone. Pour a cup or two of hot water in to the broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam (this is the key to a chewy crispy crust). Bake until well browned about 30 minutes. Repeat with remainder of dough. Cool completely.