If you like a good crusty and chewy bread then you will like this recipe. This bread is perfect for sopping in stews and soups which is why I fixed it today to go with some kale soup that I put in the crock pot this morning. This is a very rustic bread, I use the basic recipe Nannie Polly used for bread but keeping it in a shaggy dough form to make it crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside which is how we like it. The longer rise time gives the bread a wonderful flavor too.
I call this camp bread because I like to make it when we go camping and I fix some stew in Nannies ole iron dutch oven over a fire. As y’all know, this family of mine loves our bread and I love baking all sorts of loaves and rolls. The aroma of the bread baking always brings back childhood memories and now even Zaylee has started making her own memories to carry on with her as she sees me making bread and loves the smell of it baking herself. My Great Grandmother, Maw Rackley, is who taught Nannie Polly how to make bread. A few ingredients and a few hours later that bread would be slathered in butter and ready to eat. Nannie and Papa were more biscuits and cornbread type folks, the bread making was pretty much done by Maw Rackley and Nannie would make it sometimes, but not often. Papa always liked Colonial bread for a sandwich and he would know if Nannie bought a different brand. I reckon I get my particulars about bread from him because some store bought bread isn’t fittin’ to eat.
- 1 C. warm tap water
- 1 T. instant yeast
- 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 C. all purpose
- 1 tsp. salt
Put the water and yeast in a large bowl. Allow the yeast to proof for about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 1/4 C. of the flour and the salt with a wooden spoon and mix together to form a shaggy dough. You may need to add a little more flour to get the right shagginess, you want it sticky and not formed into a normal soft dough ball. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let it sit on the counter for 5 hours. Uncover and flour your hand good and begin going around the dough, pulling it towards the center. Continue flouring your hand and do this process 3 times. The dough will still be shaggy but have a little more shape at this point. Cover and let sit for 1 hour. Grease a 10″ iron skillet with lard or shortening and place it in the oven as it preheats to 425 degrees. Remove the skillet and with a floured hand carefully pull the dough into the skillet. It will just plop right in there, not shaping required. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.