I love baking bread.
It's very comforting and makes your home smell great. It tastes way better than store-bought stuff. And it makes you feel all virtuous and earthy, like a pioneer woman.
My very favorite recipe is so easy, it's almost a crime. But just look at the gorgeous results:
The recipe was first published in the New York Times and has been making the rounds on food blogs ever since.
Don't be intimidated by the 22-24 hour time. I was almost scared off by that too.
It seriously takes about 30 seconds to stir everything together, then you let the dough sit for 12-20 hours. (I leave mine where it won't be disturbed, like on top of the fridge or inside the microwave.) After it's rises, roll it into a ball and let it sit for two more hours. Then bake for about 50 minutes.
I actually prefer to use this version of the recipe, which just includes some minor tweaks and tips. It also has pretty photos, and I like pretty photos.
Trust me on this. If you love bread but you've never made it at home, this is definitely the one to try. It makes bread with big, soft bubbles on the inside and a satisfying crunch on the outside. Best of all, it will impress everyone you know.