Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Artisan Bread Anyone?

Last week as I was reading my way through blogland, I came across a post about an EASY (keyword) Homemade Artisan Bread.  So...I checked out the recipe...looked pretty simple to me and I had most of the ingredients in my pantry.  We are bread LOVERS.  We will eat ALL OF YOUR BREAD in your house if you invite us over.  When we go out to dinner, we always tell the waiter....don't "go easy" on the bread...bring it on.  Hub thinks he is the bread expert.  He squeezes it....smells it....shakes it...you would think it had wine in it.  He knows his bread he says.

I have made bread before.  Not kneaded and rolled by hand, but I had a bread machine once.  It died years ago and I've never replaced it.  So...I was going to give this recipe a try.

First for my ingredients...check out my baking pantry!

I know...it's sweet, right?  I did this little organizing this summer!

Here's how the making of the dough went down.  It was easy....mix ingredients all together and stir.  Cover and let sit for a few hours.  EASY!

Pretty cool, huh?  My bread is rising.  In. My. Wooden. Salad. Bowl.  WHAT?!

I love the way it's all bubbly and junk.

At this point in my post, I should be showing you how I lifted this bubbly stuff out of the bowl....tossed flour around on my counter top like a pro.....all the while freaking out about FLOUR everywhere.....and then forming 2 balls and a loaf.  BUT....I was in a hurry.....didn't take pictures....so I hope you have an imagination.

Here's how they looked coming out of the oven.

Divine.  Lucious.  Hot. Bread.

Next....I got my funky plates out....plenty of butter on hand for the taste test.

Then....I slathered butter all over the HOT bread.....

There's never enough butter my sweets!

It was delicious.  I now have 3 two loaves to serve up the family this week.

Here's the recipe~

6 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt
3 cups lukewarm water

and cornmeal for your cookie sheet

In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast and salt.  Add the water, stir until combined, cover and leave it on the counter for a few hours.

Divide the dough into 3 loaves, cover each loaf with flour, and shape it into the form you want.  Place on a sprayed baking sheet that is sprinkled with cornmeal and let rise for about 30 minutes.  Slash the top of your loaves with a sharp knife.  While you wait for the dough to rise, preheat the over to 450 and prepare a shallow pan with 1 cup of water. Place the water on the bottom rack of your oven to create steam while your bread bakes.  Cook for 30-35 minutes.  (I think next time I will check the bread after 25 min in my oven)


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