Thursday, April 23, 2015

Easy Artisan Bread

Yesterday was a sad day for me... while griping at my kids for not listening I might have dropped the laptop, and the screen might have shattered.  Which means I am typing this post on my phone, now that is true dedication.

On to the bread, my kids, husband and I loved it.  The recipe was simple and easy to follow.  The flavor was great and it looked stunning.  I think next time I will experiment with some fresh herbs, BUT this bread is amazing as is.

4-4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 Tablespoons yeast
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 Tablespoons salt

Proof yeast by combining the yeast and the sugar in the bottom of the bowl of a stand mixer and then pour the warm water over it.
Whisk it by hand lightly.
Let is rest for 10 minutes until it is foamy.
In a separate bowl mix 3 cups of the flour with the salt.
Add the flour mixture one cup at a time to the yeast mixture in the stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
The dough will start to come together, but still be sticky.
Add in the rest of the flour in 1/2 cup increments until the dough completely comes together in a ball. It may not take all the flour.
Let the mixer knead the dough for a few minutes.
Then dump the dough onto the counter and continue to knead for about five minutes, or until the dough is smooth.
Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover the top with a lightly damp kitchen towel.
Let it rise for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with the Dutch oven inside.
Do not punch down the dough.
Simply take out the ball of dough, that should have risen.
Lightly coat both the bottom and the top of the loaf with flour.
Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and just as carefully drop the dough in the center of the Dutch oven.
Cut three slits in the top of the loaf. That will give it that artisan top.
Cook for 30 minutes covered.
Then take off the lid and cook for another 7-10 minutes, until the top is golden and crunchy looking.
Remove from the Dutch oven onto a cutting board.
Let it cool slightly. 
Then slice into its artisan bread glory.

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