Leah’s 19 Hour Bread

13 Sep


Leah’s 19-Hour Sourdough Bread

This is the most amazing bread I think I’ve ever eaten.  It has a very crunchy exterior and a chewy inside.  If you’ve steered clear of making your own bread, this recipe may convince you otherwise.   You will be surprised that it turns out so well since there are so few ingredients, and doesn’t even require a mixer!  It seems too simple to be so delicious.  The most difficult part of this recipe is in doing the math to decide when to start the recipe in order to have it ready when you want to serve it.  We beg Leah to make this at our house. 

3 cups Bread flour (plus extra for shaping) be sure to use bread flour, it’s a must

1/4 teaspoon yeast (this is not a typo, it actually only has 1/4  teaspoon of yeast!)

2  1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt (available in a square box in the aisle with regular salt)

1  1/2 cups water

2 Tablespoons cornmeal (not cornmeal mix)

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, and salt.  Add the water and mix until combined.  (just use a spoon, not a mixer) 

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to sit at room temperature for 19 hours.

After 19 hours, turn the dough out onto a countertop sprinkled with flour and turn it over onto itself a couple of times.  Cover with a kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, shape the dough into a ball by tucking the outer edges up under itself.  It may be a little sticky to handle, just coat your hands with flour to make it easier.  Sprinkle a clean kitchen towel with a tablespoon or so of cornmeal and place the dough ball on top of it with the seam underneath. 

 Lift the towel with the dough in it and place back in a large bowl.  Sprinkle the top of the dough with another tablespoon of cornmeal and wrap the towel up over the dough lightly to cover.  Allow to rise for another 2-3 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

When the dough has risen to double in size, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place a 4 or 5 quart Dutch oven with lid in the oven while it preheats. (we use  a cast-iron Dutch oven) Allow it to preheat for 20-30 minutes before baking.  Once the dough is ready, carefully transfer the dough into the preheated Dutch oven.  Be careful to not burn yourself and not to deflate the dough.  The best way to do this is to lift the dough out of the bowl with the kitchen towel and gently tilt the towel so it rolls softly out of the towel into the preheated Dutch oven.


 Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  When done, remove from the oven and cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing.  This is great served warm.  It’s a good bread for making bruschetta, Panini, etc.


2 Responses to “Leah’s 19 Hour Bread”

  1. rebekah wright December 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    Hi! I am a friend of Cathy’s….she brought this bread to a party over the weekend and it is the best bread I have ever had! She shared the recipe with me and I have made it 3 times {since Saturday!!} Last night we served it to some dinner guests and everyone raved about it–and ate every bite–so we shared your site with our friends {hope you don’t mind!} And I am about to put another loaf in the oven at the request of my children who begged for me to make it again :) I just wanted to tell you how much we have enjoyed your recipe and I look forward to trying some of your others. They all look wonderful! Your site is beautiful.
    rebekah wright

    • Deb December 18, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

      Thank you Rebekah! Any friend of Cathy’s is a friend of mine! Glad you found my blog! Enjoy.

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