artisan bread, the easy way

Is there anything better than the smell of bread baking? I don’t think so.

Well, maybe eating the said bread. That’s pretty incredible as well.

I’m a huge fan of artisan bread… it is delicious and heart-warming and filling in the best way. And the fact that I can make it, on my own, for just a couple of cents a loaf, without kneading or investing in a bread machine, is enough to make my day. And so I’d like to share it with you, so that your day can be a little better than you thought it would be when you woke up this morning. You’re welcome!

My biggest instruction in this technique comes from The Italian Dish. You can head over to their website for much more detailed information of what exactly is happening throughout this lovely bread-making process. I owe them a ton of thanks for their tutorial.

Bread-making is mostly composed of mixing and waiting. Start with some warm water and mix in yeast, salt, and flour. Cover it up and let it sit for a while (at least two hours, to be precise). Part one: complete.

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Over the course of the two hours, it will rise quite a bit. If you’re feeling daring, now is the time to get creative with the flavors. For this batch, I tried three new combinations: rosemary & garlic, orange & cranberry, and parmesan cheese (the rosemary, of course, came from our little garden). It’s as simple as dividing the dough and stirring in the various yummy bits.

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Shape the dough into loafs, making sure that the top portion is tight and smooth, and place them on parchment paper. Let it rise for another half hour. In the meantime, stick a baking sheet in the oven.  Dust the tops of the loafs with flour, slit them with a sharp knife, slide the parchment paper on top of the heated baking sheet, place a pan of water underneath, and…. that’s all! Watch a show on Netflix while the bread releases all sort of lovely smells into your home.

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And then, enjoy! We found that the orange and cranberry loaf tasted divine with blackberry jam (that one was definitely my favorite), while the other two worked best with a little olive oil. Whatever makes your heart smile.

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No-Knead Artisan Bread

INGREDIENTS:

3 c. lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbsp. instant yeast
1 1/2 tbsp coarse salt
6 1/2 c. ap flour
mix-ins as desired
DIRECTIONS:
1. Warm the water to around 100* F.
2. Mix in yeast, salt, and flour with a wooden spoon.
3. Cover with a lid or dishtowel, set in a warm place, and allow to rise for at least two hours.
4. Place a piece of parchment paper on your counter and dust your hands with flour. Pull the dough and tear off a piece the size of a grapefruit. If you are mixing in any herbs, fruits, nuts, or cheese, place that piece into a separate bowl and add the toppings. Use the wooden spoon to mix them thoroughly.
5. Shape the loaf by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all sides, ensuring that the top is smooth and tight. Place the loaf onto your parchment paper and let it sit for 30-40 minutes.
6. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 450*. Place your baking sheet in the heated oven and let it warm for 20 minutes. Fill a pan with water and set it beside the oven.
5. Dust the loaf with a little flour and slash the top with a knife.
6. Slide the parchment paper into the oven and place the water right underneath before quickly closing the oven door. Allow the bread to bake 30-35 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden brown. Remove and enjoy!
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5 responses to “artisan bread, the easy way

  1. oooh, want to try this! Thanks for sharing!

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