November 21, 2012

Artisan Bread


I have never been one to let the thought of baking my own bread scare me.  After years of doing it, I have grown to love it and in most cases, prefer it to store bought.  The best piece of advice I could give to someone who is new to cooking and/or baking is "Don't let the kitchen scare you!"  Get in there, get your hands dirty, and learn from your mistakes.  I always mark my recipes with notes on what I changed, how it came out, or what to do different next time.  This is how you learn, and this is how you perfect a recipe.   

If ever there was a bread recipe to start with, this would be the one.  This is sooooo easy, it takes almost no time to put together (seriously, it takes maybe 5 minutes if you include the time it takes to gather your ingredients) and it comes out like a professional artisan bread!  Trust me.  I promise.  You will love this bread.  Everyone will be amazed you made it.  My husband couldn't believe how good it was....he must have told me a hundred times!  It has an amazing crunchy crust (which comes from cooking it in the pot with the lid) and a perfectly soft and chewy middle.  The hardest part is letting the dough set for 14-18 hours, so just plan ahead.  I like to let it set out overnight and bake it in the morning - this works out perfect for me.  What's the worst that could happen?  If it doesn't come out the way you want, or if you have a bread baking disaster, just make croutons with it (click here for crouton recipe) - it's a win win situation!  So don't let bread baking scare you - get in the kitchen and try this recipe! 


Artisan Bread

1 cup bread flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1, 1/4oz packet of instant yeast (Rapid Rise)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water

Add both flours, salt and yeast to a large bowl and stir to combine.  Add the water and mix until it comes together to form a soft dough.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 14-18 hours.  

Preheat oven to 450 and once it has come to temp, place a large cast iron pot (or enameled cast iron pot) with lid into the oven and let it set in there for 30 minutes.  While the pot is heating, pour the dough onto a floured work surface and knead it to remove bubbles (about 10-15 times), then shape dough into a ball.  Cover the dough and let it sit while the your pot is heating up.

After 30 minutes, remove the pot from the oven and place your dough ball into the center of the pot.  With a sharp knife, cut a few slits on the tip, then put the cover on the pot and place into the oven.  Let it cook covered for 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake for another 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and place bread onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

13 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I highly encourage you to give it a try. Happy Thanksgiving & thanks for stopping by!

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  2. That crunchy crust lools so good! I've never heard of cooking bread in a pot but I am deff going to try it. Thanks!

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  3. any suggestions for someone who does not have a cast iron pot?

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    1. The dutch oven/cast iron pot is used because of the way it distributes and maintains the heat, so I'm not sure if if would come out the same if you used a different type of pot. However, there's only one way to find out, so if you want to try the recipe with a different pot I'd use stainless steel. Just know that I've never tried this recipe in anything other than the dutch oven/cast iron pot so I can't say how it will turn out. Good luck!

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  4. My sister in law married a youglasavian. His Mother makes what they translate to pita. It is a bread rolled out extreamly thin then put on oil, butter,cream cheese and cottage cheese. never got the recipe for the bread but will try this as it looks very similar.

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  5. Hi I do have a black cast iron skillet but was wondering what you suggest for a lid? Could use cooking stone, but didn't want it to smash the bread! Suggestions? Thank u!

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  6. Not sure if a cast iron skillet would work - the bread needs to be completely submerged in the pan and covered with a lid. It needs to be deep....

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    1. I have tried this recipe with a cast iron skillet and aluminum foil and it works fine.

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  7. I got a French oven from Le Creuset as a wedding gift, is this the same thing as a Dutch oven? Does it need to be any particular size?

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    1. That's pretty much the same thing. I should be at least 6 qt or larger. Hope you will give this a try - you will love it!

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  8. have you made it with sugar in the mix?

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  9. No...I don't think it needs it.

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