This recipe is a shout out to my husband Kevin. Out of all the foods I make, this is one of his absolute favorites. The awesome thing about it is that it’s easy and requires very few ingredients. It’s only 4 ingredients for the base recipe! Our favorite ways to eat it are just sliced and room temperature, sliced and warmed in the oven wrapped in foil and then dipped in olive oil, spread with pesto, or making small grilled cheese out of it.
If you’ve visited my blog before you have seen a picture of this delicious bread and you just didn’t know it. This is the bread featured on my homepage! I decided it was time to share it with you all.
This is not my original recipe, so I will provide the link to the recipe I use. I will tell you the adjustments I make and the add ins we use to make it taste soooooo good. Really, it’s one of those breads you just smell and you know it’s going to taste good and makes you drool.
This is a yeast bread recipe. Yeast can be kind of scary if you aren’t used to it. The cool thing about this bread though is that you don’t have to do any kneading! The rising of this bread is a slow process, so be prepared to do some pre planning before you make this. The rise time is between 8-24 hours. Most often times I bake it after about 10 hours of rise time. I suggest that you make it in the evening and then bake it in the morning or in the few hours before you plan to serve it the next day.
The fun easy part of it is changing up the seasonings however you want! I’ll admit that we never measure this, so if you are looking for exact amounts, sorry. I find this bread to be forgiving. We haven’t ever made it and thought it was gross. We have gotten pretty good with flavoring it how we really like though. If I had to give an estimate, I would say that we use somewhere between 1/2-1 tbsp of most of the seasonings. The exceptions would be the grated parmesan which I would say we use more like 2 tbsp to 1/4 cup, and red pepper flakes and cayenne we use maybe a 1/4 tsp or so.
Kevin’s go to flavor suggestions for this bread:
red pepper flakes
grated Parmesan cheese
Italian seasoning and/or other dried herbs such as: parsley and oregano.
We love this bread because we love garlicky, spicy, Parmesan flavored foods. The appearance of the bread is very rustic and artisan which just makes us feel fancy and for some reason makes it a real comforting and cozy treat. The exterior is crisp and the inside has a nice soft chew to it. We love to butter it up for grilled cheese because those flavors really come out and it makes the crispiest crunch to harmonize your gooey melt-y cheese. MMM….
Modifications to this recipe besides the add ins is the cooking method. The original recipe uses a dutch oven. We do not have one, so I always use my crockpot bowl part and cover it with foil. This is not a modification but just a tip: The dough is very sticky and hard to shape into a ball. Mine always has a very “rustic” look. Don’t worry about it keeping a perfect shape. Always have a well floured surface and well floured hands in the step that involves shaping the risen dough into a ball about 30 minutes before cooking. It is completely worth it, and most of the recipe is hands off. Be sure to read through the whole recipe before you begin!
Here are some pictures of my process making the bread. The first picture is after rising over night for about 12 hours. The next picture is after shaping into a ball. The third picture is after it has baked and everyone is happy. 🙂
Since I am calling this “Kevin’s Bread” I want to share his favorite grilled cheese to make with this bread.
2 slices crusty bread
pepperonis and/or salami
Spread each slice of bread with a thin layer of butter.
In a heated skillet, cook as many pepperoni slices as you want for your sandwich till they are crisp. Remove from pan and set on a plate lined with paper towel.
Spread each slice of bread with a layer of pesto on the OPPOSITE side of the butter. (The butter side will be the outside of the sandwich.)
Heat skillet to medium heat. Spray skillet with non stick spray and place on slice of bread, butter side down. Add a layer of cheese, then the pepperonis to that slice of bread. Top with another layer of cheese and then top with other slice of bread with the butter side up.
Allow to cook till golden color and cheese starts melting. Flip sandwich and cook other side till golden and cheese is completely melted.
Follow this link to learn how to make your own No Knead Crusty Loaf Bread!