I called this easy overnight bread because it’s really that, easy and you leave the dough overnight to rise =) It’s simple to prepare the dough and the look of this bread is absolutely incredible! It’s not Italian bread, but it’s definitely bread to wow a crowd =)
Here’s what you need:
– 3 cups of All-Purpose flour or Bread Flour (I really didn’t find much difference taste wise between the two flour types ……if in Italy, use 3 cups of farina di grano duro).
– 1 3\4 tsp salt
– 1\2 tsp dry yeast
– 1 3\4 cup water
– herbs are OPTIONAL (like dried basil, rosemary, garlic, etc…)
By hand or using a mixer, mix all ingredients until well incorporated. Dough should not seem liquidy, but not dry either. Cover and let rise overnight. (don’t worry, the amount of yeast is small, so your dough won’t explode out of the bowl =)
The next morning, preheat your oven WITH AN OVEN PROOF POT AND LID to 425 degrees (Fahrenheit) or 220 degrees (Celsius) for about 20 min. This is my toaster oven…..yes, it needs to be cleaned, but that’s another post…..I’m purposely keeping it dirty so I can show you the wonders of cleaning with baking soda!
Don’t mind my bread pot…..it has a few burnt marks, along with my pizza pans.
Like they say, “Never trust a skinny chef”…….I say, “Never trust a spotless pot or pan!” =) =)
Once preheated, carefully remove the hot pot, and dump the dough into the pot. Be careful not to burn yourself, as I’ve done a few times =( Close the lid and put back into the oven for 20-25 minutes.
After that time has lapsed, remove the lid and continue to bake another 10-15 minutes or until the top is brown and crusty.
Remove from the oven, wait about 5 minutes, and then remove the bread from the pot to cool down.
Isn’t she a beauty, basking in all her glory?…..This is where you pick up the bread and turn her around several times at all angles admiring the unbelievable fact that she’s actually your creation, while muttering under your breath that you can’t believe you used to pay all these years for artisan bread! =)
Now, although this isn’t Sicilian bread, let me tell you in general what happens here in Sicily when fresh bread comes out of the oven: the women cut open the bread, drizzle some good quality olive oil, and some dried oregano…..slice up some parmiggiano reggiano cheese, or if you are like me, I add balsamic vinegar…..and mamma mia….let me tell you, this will get you singing in Italian!