I’ve been given the affectionate nickname of “Bread Head” by my boyfriend, Chris, because at any meal where there’s fresh baked bread I happily eat seconds, thirds, and fourths of JUST BREAD. As a kid I would even barter with classmates at school lunch to get extra dinner rolls. So after having a lifetime love of bread, I’ve realized just how easy (and how much tastier) it is to make your own freshly baked bread right at home.
This no-knead crusty herb bread has fresh rosemary and thyme baked right in it. When you cut through that perfect crunchy crust you’re hit with the aroma of fresh bread and herbs that you just can’t get with some store-bought breads. The rest of the ingredients (flour, water, yeast, and salt) are probably already in your pantry, so you can mix this together in the morning, leave it all day, and then pop it in the oven to serve with that night’s dinner. And you don’t have to have a cast iron dutch oven, which a lot of other bread recipes call for. A cast iron skillet or cake pan will work just fine!
No-Knead Crusty Herb Bread
(makes 1 loaf)
3 cups all-purpose flour + extra for the counter
1 1/2 cups of luke warm water
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 sprig of fresh rosemary, remove the leaves and finely chop them
6-8 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed, discard the stems
In a large bowl stir together all of your ingredients. The dough will be pretty sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then place it in a safe spot at room temperature for 10-15 hours. The dough will just about double in size and be full of little air bubbles.
On a clean and decently floured surface, turn the bowl over and start pulling the dough out. Use extra flour in the bowl or on your hands to get every last bit. Turn the dough over a few times, sprinkling the top of the dough and surface you’re working on with more flour. Form into a ball and then place back in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place a cast iron skillet or cake pan in the oven on a middle rack. On a rack below, place a cookie sheet there. You’ll be adding water to the cookie sheet to create steam while the bread is baking to get that perfect crunchy crust!
When the dough is finished resting, remove the cast iron skillet from the oven. Add the dough to the skillet, use a sharp knife to score the top (just make 2 to 3 slices across the dough), and then place it in the oven. Pour one cup of water on the cookie sheet and immediately close the oven.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a nice golden crust forms. Remove from the oven and allow bread to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.