Crusty White Bread
A simple white yeast bread recipe. Follow the tips for a nice crispy crust
- 3 cups flour (Bread flour for best results, but All Purpose will work)
- 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 1/3 tsp salt
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 1 Tbsp olive, vegetable, or canola oil
- 1 1/2 cups of slightly warm water
- Stir the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Make a well and add the oil and water. Stir until a soft dough forms.
- Turn out onto a floured surface and kneed for about 8 minutes, adding flour if the dough is too sticky. Kneed until the dough forms a smooth and elastic ball. Place ball in a lightly oiled bowl, turning a few times to coat the ball in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then a kitchen towel, and let the dough rise in a warm place for about an hour until doubled in size.
- After rising, gently punch down the dough to eliminate some air. Form into a tight, smooth ball and transfer onto a greased or parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 425F.
- Uncover loaf, dust with flour and cut a small slash across the loaf. Bake for 20 minutes at 425F, then reduce temperature to 400F and bake 20 minutes more. Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing.
- How to encourage more rising: Make sure that none of the ingredients are cold when you make your dough. The warm water will help. Also, allow the dough to rise in a warm environment (~70-80F).
- How to get a crustier crust:
- Steam in the oven will help form a crustier crust. While pre-heating the oven, leave a metal pan (like a loaf pan, something with sides) in the oven. As you put your bread in the oven, add a dozen or so ice cubes to the pan. They will melt and create steam. Remove the melted water after the first 20 minutes of baking. Note: Do not use a glass pan to hold the ice... cold ice coming into contact with the hot glass will cause shattering, as I have learned the hard way.
- Allowing the loaf to cool in the oven will reduce sogginess in the crust that comes water that evaporates and condenses during cooling. After baking, turn the oven off and leave it cracked open. Allow the bread to cool like this for at least 10 minutes. Never place still-warm bread in a plastic bag, water will condense on the bag and make the bread soggy.