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Home Baked Bread

One of the questions I hear most is: “How can you eat bread if you’re vegan?” Well for starters, one has nothing to do with the other unless the bread is made with egg, butter or cheese. Plus, I am not gluten-intolerant and I am a born and bred (bread? lol) New Yorker. I love my scooped and toasted bagels!

While the East Coast is still my home, I spend a lot of time in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I found a lovely artisanal bakery just a few blocks away that makes a wonderful sourdough, but recently I decided to make my own as the other store bought varieties aren’t satisfying.

I found this four-ingredient, super easy to make bread recipe. You mix flour, salt, yeast and water. It takes 5 minutes to prepare, and hours of patience while it proves and rises before baking for 25 minutes. The result was scrumptious! Great flavor and texture with a chewy crust and light center. I hope you enjoy.

Recipe: Sally’s Baking Addiction

3 1/4 c bread flour, spoon and leveled plus more for hands and pan

2 tsp instant yeast

2 tsp coarse sea salt

1 1/2 c cool water

Optional: cornmeal for dusting

In a large, ungreased mixing bowl whisk the flour, salt and yeast together. Pour in the cold water and mix together with a spatula for wooden spoon. Keep working until the flour is all moistened, and using your hands finish kneading until it forms a ball.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil for 2-3 hours and let rise, at room temperature. For the best flavor and texture, refrigerate for 12 hours, or up to 3 days.

Lightly dust a large non-stick baking sheet with flour and/or cornmeal. Turn the dough into a floured work surface. Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut the dough in half. Shape into 2 long loaves, about 9x3 each, about 3” apart; and let rest for 45 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

If the loaves flatten, reshape them. When ready to bake, using a very sharp knife, bread lame or kitchen shears, score the loaves with 3 slashes, about 1/2” deep.

Place the dough on the baking tray on the center rack and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. If the bread sounds hollow when you tap it, it’s done.

Let the bread cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving. It lasts, loosely covered, for 5 days at room temp and 10 in the refrigerator.

*For a crispier crust, fill a cast iron skillet or metal 9x13” baking pan with 3-4 cups of boiling water. Place it on the bottom oven rack, with the bread dough just a bit higher than middle to help steam while it cooks.

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