The other night I made a delicious (if I do say so myself) beef soup/stew and I tried out this recipe for bread to go along with it. I wanted something nice and hearty and this did the trick. It had a hard thick crust and it was dense and delicious. And it really was less than five minutes to mix together. It does need to rise for a couple hours, but it was extremely easy. As for the soup, I was kind of winging it, so I'll just give you the general idea. I cooked a big chuck roast on Sunday and had gravy with it and I had a lot left over, so I (with the inspiration of my mom) used the gravy and added some water. Then I chopped up potatoes, onions, and carrots and cooked those in there and just added a bay leaf and some garlic, salt, and Worchestershire sauce to taste (and of course I chopped up the beef and added that) and it turned out really tasty! So there's an idea for you if you have leftover pot roast or some type of big piece of beef. :)
And here's the recipe for the bread. I got this from The Sisters' Cafe.
5-minute no-knead bread
1 1/2 T. yeast
1 1/2 T. kosher salt (it's coarser than table salt)
3 cups lukewarm water
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Stir together all ingredients until you have a nice thick dough (really, I just used a rubber spatula). Make sure you stir it enough that there are no dry pockets of flour left in the dough. Cover well (I used plastic wrap) and let rise for 2 hours on the counter.
Sprinkle just a little flour over the dough and divide into 4 parts. Sprinkle with a little more flour to keep your hands from sticking and form into a ball. Place seam side down on parchment paper sprinkled with a little cornmeal. Allow loaves to sit for 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees with a baking stone inside. Also, place a pan Also, place a shallow pan full of warm water on the bottom shelf of oven to make steam during baking. This creates a crusty exterior to the bread. (I didn't do this and mine was still very crusty). Sprinkle loaves with flour again. Using a serrated knife, make several slices across the top of the bread to allow for expansion. Lift parchment paper with loaves on top and place directly on hot stone. Place baking stone on middle shelf of oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes.
*FYI: I don't have a baking stone, but I just used a cookie sheet, and I did preheat it. Also, I halved the recipe because I didn't think we needed 4 loaves for the 2 of us. However, we did polish off 1 loaf at dinner last night. Hehe...