Friday, October 15, 2010

Food Friday: Artisan Bread

I was taught this recipe by a good friend.  She then gave me this book and a pizza peel for my birthday.  Smiles!!!  I hadn't made it in a while because I had been using a different recipe (not from the book, but a different one that my friend had taught me).  When I discovered my mistake, I made the correct recipe.  The one given below.  Oh boy!  It is scrumptious! Yummm!  And ohhh, the sound of it!  (Watch Ratatouille if you don't know what I mean). I made another mistake by only making one loaf for supper.  My husband said that it was a good teaser but now wanted more.  Unfortunately it would take about an hour to raise and bake the bread.  My baby was crying and signing for more.  When she would spot some on the table, even if it was about the size of a crumb, she would baby beg for more.  

 So, give the recipe a try and you will not be disappointed!

Artisan Bread
3 Cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 Tablespoons kosher or other course salt
6 1/2 Cups of bread flour

Wheat flour or corn meal for pizza peel

Put water in mixer, add the yeast, salt and flour.  Mix until ingredients are combined, approx. 5 minutes. The mixture will be wet. Place dough in a large container or bowl and cover (not airtight). Let raise for 2 hours at room temperature. Place in refrigerator until ready to use (at least 3 hours).
This makes 4 one-pound loaves of bread.  Or you can divide dough into different portions for various sizes.

Take the dough from the fridge, shake a small amount of flour over the top of dough so it will cut easily with a serrated knife. Splitting the dough in thirds and then baking only one loaf a day is ideal. Cut off the amount you want to bake and remainder goes back in the fridge.  The dough gets better with age.  Although, use the covered, refrigerated dough within 14 days.

Place baking stone and drippings pan in oven while preheating to 450 degrees.

If making a baguette, you roll dough on a very lightly floured board. Then sprinkle wheat flour on a pizza peel, let the dough rise for 20 minutes.  Brush water on top of loaf or spray with Pam to add toppings.  When the oven is ready, place the dough on the baking stone that is in the oven and hot, it slides right off the pizza peel because of the wheat flour.  Then place 1 cup of water in the dripping
pan. Close the oven door quickly to trap the steam.
Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 25 minutes.

If you are making an herb bread, add herbs in the water at the beginning or take the dough out of the fridge and spread as flat as possible with your hands, again on a lightly floured board. Add herbs, garlic, olives, whatever sounds good. Incorporate it into the dough. Form a boule or ball with the dough. Allow to raise for 40 minutes on a corn meal covered pizza peel.  Bake on a preheated stone at 450 degrees for 30 minutes with the cup of water in the pan below.

When the bread is done it should be hard on the outside but very chewy on the inside.
Bon Appétit!

Recipe Source (it contains many wonderful recipes): Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

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