Everyday Bread

Makes 2 small or 1 large loaf
Inspired by Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day (Ten Speed Press, November 2009)

Homemade bread is easier than you think with this recipe. Most of the work is done after you walk away, while the dough rises. Turning the oven light on creates the perfect proofing box—just make sure the oven itself is off.

2 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon quick acting yeast
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water

plus additional flour for kneading & dusting surface
Cooking spray or oil

1. Add all ingredients to the bowl of your Cuisinart Stand Mixer. Using paddle attachment, mix until combined, starting off on low speed, then gradually increasing to speed 6 (medium speed).

2. Remove paddle attachment and fasten on dough hook. Beat on speed 8 (medium-high) for 2 minutes (don’t forget you can set the timer). Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it forms a smooth ball, about a minute or two. If using a bowl with a lid, coat the part that will cover the bowl with cooking spray or oil so the dough doesn’t stick to the lid. Alternately, tear a piece of plastic wrap long enough to cover bowl. Coat one side of the plastic wrap with cooking spray or oil. Place dough in a medium bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in volume (see recipe headnote).

3. Position rack in center of oven. Place pizza stone on rack and heat oven to 550ºF. Meanwhile, turn dough onto lightly floured surface, and gently shape into a long oval loaf. Using a sharp knife, cut a few slashes diagonally on top. Let loaf stand, covered with a damp towel on a pizza peel or parchment lined baking sheet, on top of stove while oven is heating. Once oven temperature is ready, slide bread directly onto stone and reduce oven temperature to 450ºF. Bake for 15 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer registers 200ºF. Turn off oven and let bread sit on stone for 5 more minutes for an extra-crisp crust. Remove bread and transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm or store tightly wrapped, once completely cooled, for up to one day.