Rustic Thanksgiving Bread
Join me today while I create a perfect and simple loaf of rustic bread for our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. The bread can be made quickly in just a few hours, allowing you to have fresh bread by lunchtime if you start preparing the dough in the morning. Unlike traditional bread recipes, this recipe uses a stone for resting and baking the dough. Which ultimately makes a gorgeous, crusty, rustic loaf of bread that's perfect for the holidays.
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of seasoning salt
- 1 1/2 cups of warm water
- 1 teaspoon of Splenda or sugar
- Canola oil for greasing
- Cornmeal for dusting
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and seasoning salt. Using your fingers, create a small well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture inside it.
Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough begins to form. Once it becomes difficult to stir, transfer the mixture onto a floured surface and knead it for about 10 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. You can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment for this step, but I just use my hands.
Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm area for about 1 to 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place a baking stone or an inverted baking tray in the oven to preheat as well.
Once the dough has doubled, punch it down to release any trapped air that may be in the dough. Transfer it onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a round or oval loaf by folding the edges towards the center.
Now, remove the baking stone or baking tray from the oven. Sprinkle the preheated baking stone or baking tray lightly with cornmeal. Carefully transfer the shaped loaf onto the stone or sheet. Alternatively, you can place the loaf on a parchment-lined baking tray. (I flipped my dough seam-side down.)
Cover the loaf with the kitchen towel and let it rise for another 30 to 40 minutes, until it slightly puffs up.
With a sharp knife, make a few shallow slashes on the top of the loaf to allow it to expand in the oven.
Place the loaf in the preheated oven and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the crust turns golden brown. To check if it's done, tap the bottom of the bread; if it sounds hollow, it's ready.
Remove the rustic bread from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack. It's best enjoyed fresh and warm, but it can also be stored in an airtight bag or container for a couple of days.
Enjoy your homemade rustic bread with butter, or your favorite spreads!