As far as I am concerned, artisan bread is the best culinary creation on the face of the planet. If I could get away with it, I would live on artisan bread alone. Everything about it hits the spot- the heavenly aroma; the irresistibly crunchy crust; the soft, moist, chewy center; the delectably hearty flavor with a slightly tart twinge… It is pure bliss.
I’ve always written off the idea of making my own, because such perfection must mandate the skill of a master baker and an arsenal of specialty tools only a professional could afford, right? It turns out that I couldn’t have been more wrong! As I was browsing PBS on the Roku, I ran across this recipe. In doing so, I stumbled across home bread-making nirvana. And the best part is that the recipe yields both the easiest and the most beautiful bread in the history of humanity!
I usually double the recipe because the loaves disappear almost instantly. Feel free to reference the original recipe in the above link. I made a few adjustments to suit our needs- I replaced half the white flour with whole wheat flour, reduced the temperature to 420 degrees F (only because my pots are only oven safe up to 420 degrees) and increased the time by just a bit to make up for the lower temperature. The recipe is forgiving, because the loaf is ridiculously delicious, even with these alterations.
AMAZING ARTISAN BREAD
- 3 cups flour (I use half organic bread flour and half whole wheat or whole triticale flour- freshly ground is best, but store bought is just fine too)
- 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 2 tsp salt (I like to use sea salt)
- 1 1/2 cups very warm water (warmer than luke warm, but not uncomfortable to the touch- you don’t want to kill your yeast!)
- Mix dry ingredients in a bowl large enough to handle more than twice the original volume of dough (it will bubble and ferment as it sits in the bowl)
- Add the water and mix until the wet and dry ingredients are homogenously incorporated
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature (68-76 degrees is ideal) for about 12 hours (overnight works great!)
- Your dough will look puffed up, bubbly and sticky. Divide the dough in half with floured hands and form into a round loaf by tucking the edges down and underneath the ball of dough.
- Line the base of your baking dish with a piece of parchment paper and place your dough on top.
- Place a tight fitting lid on top of the pan and place in a cool oven.
- Turn the oven on to 420 degrees and bake for 33 minutes.
- Carefully remove the lid and finish baking for an additional 33 minutes.
- Serve warm with butter and jam or allow to cool to slice and put up.