We’re always telling you to bake something homey-smelling when preparing a home for a showing – but we never tell you how to do that. Here is a recipe for baking bread to leave your home smelling wonderful!
3 cups white flour OR bread flour
3/4 teaspoon yeast
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups slightly warm water
Spray oil OR olive oil
Oven-safe pot with lid OR Dutch oven (should be at least 4 quarts in size)
- A note on the yeast: You can use pretty much any yeast you have on hand – Quick-Rise or instant active yeast. Generally these shouldn’t be exchanged for each other. But don’t let confusion about yeast stand in the way of making this bread; just use whatever you have on hand. It will turn out fine.
- Add your flour to the bowl.
- Add the yeast and salt and stir thoroughly.
- Measure out 1 1/2 cups of barely warm (tepid) water.
- Pour into the bowl and stir thoroughly.
- The dough will look rough and shaggy.
- Spray the top of the dough with cooking spray, or, if you do not have cooking spray, lightly oil the top of the dough with olive oil7, then turn the dough in the bowl so the whole ball of dough is coated with the oil.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Throw a towel over top of the bowl and set it in a warm corner. Leave it alone for 6 to 8 hours.
- After at least 6 hours have passed the dough will have risen and will look rather bubbly and stretched out.
- Lightly oil the countertop and turn the dough out onto it, folding it over on itself at least once.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it sit for another hour.
- About 20 minutes before the hour is up, turn on the oven to 450°F. Place an oven-safe Dutch oven or pot in the oven.
- The dough will have risen and nearly doubled in size.
- Quickly shape the dough into a round ball and take the hot pot out of the oven and drop the ball of dough into the pot.
- Optional:Slash the top of the dough with a sharp knife.
- Place the lid on the pot and put it back in the oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid from the pot.
- Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
- An instant-read thermometer inserted in the top or side of the bread should read 210°F when done.
- Remove the bread from the oven. If you wish to keep it warm for serving, you can wrap it in a clean kitchen towel.
Slice and serve!