Homemade Artisan Bread
Oh, Nelly.......this bread! I don't know how I came across it or how it found me, but wow, were we meant for each other.
So ridiculously simple and just exemplary in taste and looks.
Let's start with the simplicity. 4 ingredients and no special kneading techniques you should've learned from your grandma. You literally mix the stuff up, let it sit, bake it and then relish in its uncanny deliciousness.
And now for the taste. Well, it's fresh bread and that alone perks up my carb-loving palate. But something from the salt, delicate bread flour and almost day long rise, just creates a flavor your favorite bakery loaf can't compete with. I'm sure a few psychologists would remark that anything you make yourself ultimately tastes better due to some holistic approach to creating something and when you personally invest time in building something, you, without a doubt, reap the rewards tenfold. Well, I can't vouch for that, but I can say what that equates to me is......this bread is damn delicious.
The looks. Oufff, what head turner. Like Cindy Crawford drinking that diet Coke good. Yes, I'm likening my bread to a super model. One you make this, you will too so stop the head shaking. The rustic shape paired with golden brown edges and pops of freshly dusted white bread flour is simply striking. I bet I could sell this for $6 at any Farmers' Market. Lucky for you, I'd say it costs about $1.50 max for each loaf. I don't do math or business but that's a pretty good ROI (return on investment ;) ) But anyway, it's a beauty.
So while I can't take responsibility for this recipe, I can give it all the credit it deserves and of course, share it with you. Which is pretty ironic because "sharing" is exactly what you won't be wanting to do once this makes its way into your kitchen. But now hear me in my teacher mode, "sharing is caring". And so c'mon friends, divvy up the goods and enjoy! Just be the one who does the cutting and give yourself the biggest slice ;)
Homemade Artisan Bread
servings: 1 loaf
3 Cups (425g) bread flour, I used King Arthur
1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 C (340g) room temperature water
Special equipment: Dutch oven, parchment paper
In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, yeast, salt and water until a shaggy and wet dough ball form.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter for 12-18 hours. I did 18 and had awesome results, FYI.
Once the hours have passed, your dough will have risen and small bubbles will be atop.
Preheat your oven to 450 F. Place dutch oven in oven with the lid on to preheat for 30 minutes.
Place a large piece of parchment paper down on counter, sprinkle that with extra bread flour. Sprinkle dough with additional flour too. Dust your hands or rubber spatula with more flour to scrape out dough onto parchment paper.
Gently form the dough into a ball by using your floured fingers to pull the edges towards the center. It will be a rough-shaped ball and not the neatest, that's okay! It will help give your bread the cracks and character you want!
Lift up the dough and parchment paper together and place into the preheated (very hot, careful!) pan. Use a spoon to push parchment towards the edges of pan to help with its shape. Sprinkle about 1-2 tsp extra bread flour atop for color.
Place lid (again, very hot!), on pan and bake on the middle shelf for 30 minutes.
Remove lid, and bake for additional 10-15 minutes uncovered, or until the crust is golden brown.
Remove from oven and use the parchment paper to lift loaf from pan to cool on a wire rack. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Enjoy! ( My tip.......Shmear your slice with unsalted butter and sprinkle with super course salt!)