When my husband John was growing up in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, the Italian Bakery was in his neighborhood...and the wonderful bread they made there was a big part of his childhood.
Making the perfect loaf of crusty Italian bread became a quest. He and his mother both tried to figure this out. For years. Was there a perfect recipe? A perfect temperature? A secret technique? What yeast? Did the flour matter? How long should you knead the bread? How long should the bread proof the first time? Should you use a stone in the oven? Spritz water to harden the crust? When?
Sooo many questions, so many near-misses. Apparently, there are endless ways you can go wrong.
Then,six years ago, John stumbled on to this Mark Bittman video. On You Tube. IT WAS LIFE ALTERING...This is the easiest, most relaxed way to make bread. It requires an overnight...and a Dutch Oven.
Really...no muss...no fuss...no kneading...no proofing...no stone...
It was his epiphany moment. And this is the PERFECT BREAD TO HAVE WITH SOUP...John makes it often -- it is always perfection...
And this crusty bread is one of the best things about winter
I KNOW I have many pictures of John, proudly holding a loaf of this delicious bread...but I can't find even one picture today.
Because I have thousands of photos...it would actually be easier to have him bake another loaf...
HEY -- THAT'S A GREAT IDEA!!