Artisan Bread at Home

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I follow several food blogs. Sadly, most of the time, I see things I would never make. Either I’m just not interested or I look at the ingredients and directions and say, “Ok, I’ll just have to take your word for it.” This morning I was up early. My AC is broken, ugh. Did I mention I live in the desert and it was 91 degrees today? So, at 6:30 AM, I woke up to 75 degrees, bright sunshine, and a slew of e-mails. One such e-mail was a new blog from http://littleoventhatcould.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/artisanbrea/. The blog features a too-good-to-be-true homemade artisan bread. It is quite literally the easiest bread with the fewest ingredients I’ve ever seen… and now, made. The original posting came from http://simplysogood.blogspot.ca/2010/03/crusty-bread.html, which is a pretty great food blog as well. Apparently it was taken from Le Creuset. All credit being given, I made two different loafs, both using almost the same ingredients, and both producing delicious results.

Ingredients:
3 C White Bread Flour
2 TBSP Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp yeast
2 C Water

Put the flour into a deep mixing bowl. Add salt and yeast and whisk. Add water and stir. You don’t want to use a mixer with a dough hook because this dough is WAY too sticky.

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Once dough is mixed, it will be very sticky and lumpy. Cover the top with plastic wrap and allow it to sit in a warm place for 12 hours, or until it has risen and doubled in size.

Once your dough has risen, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Once it’s ready, put the lid on your Dutch oven and put it in the oven, empty, for 30 minutes.

Dump your bread out onto a heavily floured surface. I followed the advice of the other blog and used a flour sack towel. It made everything easier. Shape the dough into a ball without kneading it, and cover the dough with the plastic wrap again and allow it to rest.

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Once the pot has been heated, remove the lid and carefully ate the rested ball of dough inside. Flour your hands well prior to handling the dough. It makes things easier. You don’t need to
Put any oil or nonstick spray in the pot. The bread will lift straight out. Return the lid and bake for 30 minutes.

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Tahdah! Okay, so I pulled this out about 7 minutes early. It smelled so good, I couldn’t help it. It was cooked all the way through, but, it didn’t fully get that deep golden brown color. I assure you, it tastes amazing!

Now, the other recipe is very similar and merely substitutes All-Purpose flour for the bread flour and uses 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 1/2 C water. Use the same amount of yeast. Everything else is the same.

I will say this, look in on your bread on occasion. If you are familiar with bread baking, you’ll know when it’s risen enough. Now, like I said earlier, my AC is currently out, and it’s 80+ degrees in here. My dough was ready to go in about 8 hours.

Make this and ENJOY!

My second one turned out like so:

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Posted on April 21, 2012, in Do It Yourself and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Nice job! I really want to try this sometime.

  2. Do you have a preference of one recipe over the other?

    • aparriescaldwell

      It really depends on what you like. I like them both, but I found that using bread flour makes the bread softer and a bit chewier. Using regular flour gives it a crispier, harder outer crust. I like them both for different reasons. I actually used the bread flour loaf for breakfast. I spread garlic and herb goat cheese on it, top it with sliced strawberries and drizzle some honey over it… absolute perfection. The all-purpose flour loaf I used for lunch, topping it with tomato and mozzarella slices, a few basil leaves, a sprinkling of salt and pepper and a few dashes of balsamic and fruity olive oil. MMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmm. Storage has a lot to do with the bread also. Leaving it uncovered makes it harder, and putting it in a ziplock bag softens it. I like to wrap mine in a flour sack towel, or two. It seems to keep it just right.

  3. Meagan Klipstein

    I have an unnatural fear of making anything involving yeast but since our first recipe in the Baking with Julia series was white bread (and it almost killed my stand mixer) this bread seems much more do-able. I believe it will be soup and bread for dinner tomorrow night.

    • aparriescaldwell

      Hahaha, well, I hoe it proves to be as easy as I think it is. It’s pretty impossible to mess up. If you don’t let it rise long enough, it’s just a little flatter. I you don’t do the second rise, like I did last night, it’s a little denser and lighter. It’s still delicious either way. Let me know how you like it!

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