Bread. It's kind of a super food, but maybe not in the way you might be thinking of.
A crusty loaf of bread can instantly trigger so many good memories. I know people who have entire flashback moments to earlier times just by biting into a certain kind of bread or simply by smelling the yeasty aroma as it rises in the oven. For me, one bite of fresh bread, full of that wholesome taste of rustic grain, transports me to my grandmother's kitchen — standing beside her, hearing her laugh and seeing her smile.
Perhaps that's why we call such food "hearty" — because it is made with so much heart. Whether you’re a bread baker or someone who just enjoys a crisp piece of toast, one thing is certain: Bread is often associated with comfort food. A warm piece of toast with melted butter is my perfect comfort food.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon yeast
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, sage and thyme
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Combine flour, salt, yeast, herbs and parmesan cheese. Add water and stir until a shaggy dough forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room remperature for 10 hours.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place Dutch oven or bowl in oven as it heats.
- While the oven heats, turn dough onto a well-floured surface and form into a ball with floured hands. Place in a bowl and cover dough loosely with plastic and let rest by the oven for 30 minutes to one hour.
- With floured hands, place the dough into heated Dutch over or bowl. Cover with lid or foil and bake 30 minutes. Then bake uncovered for another 10 minutes to make crust a little crispy.
- Remove loaf from Dutch oven or bowl and let the bread cool completely before slicing.
You can sprinkle the top of the loaf with large-flake salt if desired.
For other flavor options, add roasted garlic or try Raisins and Cinnamon:
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3/4 cup water
Mix the dry ingredients and raisins together in a large bowl. Then stir in milk and water until dough forms into a ball. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave on counter for 12–15 hours. Once dough is sticky, boozy and at least double in size, scrape dough out of bowl onto floured surgace and fold it two times onto itself, sort of like a book. Roll dough into round ball, getting it nice and smooth on the bottom. Let rise for 1 hour at room temperature covered with floured tea towel. It might take longer than an hour. It will rise and grow and also spread out a little. Score the top of the bread with a sharp knife. Bake in HOT over at 400 for 45–50 minute. Let cool completely before devouring.
Or there is Orange Cranberry:
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- juice of 1 orange with enough hot water to equal 1 1/2 cups
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Soak dried cranberries with orange juice and hot water for 15 minutes. Add cranberries and soaking liquid plus orange zest and brown sugar to flour mixture and mix as usual. Optional: just before baking, sprinkle top with sugar.