Thursday, September 29, 2011

Easy homemade artisan bread

I don't recall how I stumbled across this recipe at Makes and Takes, but it's a great one! You know the gorgeous crusty loaves with the moist interior that you have to pay big bucks for? You can make them at home. EASILY!

I am hooked on this bread and amazed that it came out of my oven!

  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or other course salt
  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • cornmeal for your cookie sheet or pizza stone

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. (I left mine for about 7 hours.) Here's a photo from Makes and Takes of what the dough should look like when it's ready.

Divide the dough into 3 loaves (depending on the size you want), cover each loaf with flour, and shape it into the form you want. I tried one ball and one baguette. Place on a sprayed baking sheet and sprinkled with cornmeal, and let rise for about 30 minutes. Slash the top of your loaves with a sharp knife. It makes them pretty and lets the steam escape. While you wait for the dough to rise, preheat the oven to 450, and prepare a a shallow pan with 1 cup of water. It goes on the bottom rack of your oven to create steam while your bread bakes.

When the oven is ready, put in your pan of water and your dough and let cook for 30-35 minutes; then cool on a wire rack. Unless you can't wait and you want to eat it right away with butter and honey or strawberry jam or Nutella or your favorite cheese. Ta-da!

Today I plan to experiment using a mixture of whole wheat flour and white flour. I'll let you know how it turns out.

EDIT (10/4/11): I tried using a mix of whole wheat flour and white flour, about half and half. It was still darn good, although slightly more dense, and since I was using whole wheat flour, I felt  virtuous! 

EDIT 10/9/11): My favorite so far as 1 cup whole wheat flour, the rest white flour. What's your favorite blend?


Karima said...

I really need to learn how to make homemade bread! newest follwer, Karima

Rachelle @ Adventures in Creating said...

Yum this looks delish! I really need to learn how to make homemade bread- thanks for the recipe. I'd love it if you'd stop by my blog and check out the giveaway I'm having for a Dremel Saw Max!

Deanna said...

I love making bread besides it being so good it makes the house smell wonderful! Thanks for sharing this recipe I will have to try it out soon!


Pink Overalls @DIY Home Staging said...

I like to mix half and half, white flour and whole wheat. It's not too coarse, and like you, I get to feel virtuous!

Even if I make a loaf that is almost 100% white flour, I try adding at least a handful or two of something worthwhile, like cornmeal, oat bran, whole millet, or wheat bran.

I found you through Handy Man Crafty Woman, and couldn't resist clicking through because of that beautiful looking loaf of bread. Thanks for sharing. I think it's the 7-hour proofing, and the loose dough that makes the nice texture you're getting.

Jane said...

I'm going to try this this weekend. I haven't made bread without my bread machine for years, but think it might be therapeutic. :) do you mix with a mixer?

Also when I try to incorporate wheat flour, I usually replace each cup of white with only 3/4 cup wheat, because it is less dense. I've never done it with a yeast bread though, only muffins and/or quick breads.