Magic Bread

In a toast at our wedding, my husband credited my cooking skills as the first reason he fell in love with me. Specifically, he mentioned, the beer bread and honey butter I made from scratch. Since I made that for him over two years ago, and realized how deep his love for fresh bread is, I've expanded my repertoire and added several new favorites to my recipe book.

Today, I'm sharing with you the bread to end all breads. The first time I made this skillet bread recipe this past winter, we honestly ate the whole loaf in 24 hours. Just the two of us. Not even ashamed of it. Now, it's my go-to. It's fail proof, it's melt-in-your-mouth, it's no-knead, it's just plain magic. And that's if you just follow the basic recipe. But, if you follow my 3 added secrets, you may never bake another type of bread again.

Elizabeth's Skillet Bread - AKA Magic Bread
2 hours, 10 minutes
2 1/4 tsp (or 1 packet) of yeast
2 C water
4 1/3 C flour
1/2 Tbsp salt
olive oil
coarse sea salt (*secret #1: use Hawaiian Red Alaea salt available here.)
shredded Parmesan cheese (*adding this is secret #2)
garlic butter (*secret #3. Recipe below.)

1. Combine yeast and water in a large bowl.
2. Incorporate flour 1 C at a time. Mix in salt.
3. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
4. Lightly oil your cast iron skillet. Transfer the dough to the skillet. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Drizzle olive oil on top of the dough. If you have a pastry brush, you may lightly brush the oil across the surface of the dough for better coverage.
7. Use a knife to cut an "X" mark in the dough. This will help you cut the bread into pie-like slices after baking. Sprinkle with rosemary, coarse sea salt, and (optional) Parmesan cheese, to taste.
8. Bake for 35 minutes.
9. Serve and ENJOY! It is the absolute best with garlic butter, as below.

Garlic Butter

1 stick of butter, room temperature
several cloves of garlic, unwrapped
olive oil

1. Simmer garlic in olive oil on low for about 45 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn.
2. Strain oil into a can and discard or save for later use.
3. Mash the softened garlic into the butter. If there are any large chunks that you cannot mash, discard.

Let me know if you make this recipe, and have any comments or suggestions!
Have cutting board envy? Check out our friend, Callum East Design.