Saturday, June 16, 2012

EASY ARTISAN BREAD

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The kids are obviously out of school because I haven’t had a chance to do a post for a while. I’ve made a few blog-worthy dishes, but the hard part is always being able to snap a pic before it’s all eaten or before the sun goes down! I haven’t tried my hand at artisan bread much, but the few times have left me with less than rave reviews, but I think this recipe from Tasty Kitchen is a winner! It is ridiculously easy to make and the dough can be refrigerated for up to 9 days to be used as needed for a fresh baked loaf.  It has a nice chew without being overly crusty. Save yourself $5 bucks a loaf and make this instead.
EASY ARTISAN BREAD                           enough dough for 3-4 loaves
(Printable Recipe)
6 1/2 C. All Purpose or Bread Flour
1 1/2 Tbsp. Instant Yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
3 C. Lukewarm Water (100 degrees F.)
Flour and cornmeal for dusting work surfaces

Spoon the flour into a measuring cup, level with a knife then dump into a large bowl. Repeat until you’ve added all of the flour into the bowl.
Add the yeast and salt into the flour and mix well.
Pour in the water and stir together until just moistened. Beat the mixture for 40 stokes with a wooden spoon.  Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as you go and continue until dough forms a lumpy, sticky mess. NO KNEADING!!!
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in a warm draft free area. Let the dough rise until it’s doubled and has a sponge like appearance, 1-2 hours.
Now you can use it right away or use only portions or put the whole thing in the fridge for use later. If you refrigerate it, it keeps up to 9 days.
For a baguette or round:
Place 1/4 of the dough on a floured surface and dust hands with flour. This is important—the dough is quite sticky.

Working the dough as little as possible form it into a small round or 14 inch long cylinder for a baguette. Lightly flour any sticky spots on the dough. It should feel smooth and soft all over like a baby’s skin and not at all sticky.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cornmeal on rimless cookie sheet and place the dough on top of the cornmeal. Cover dough with a light tea towel and let it rise for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat oven to 450 F. Put your baking stone into the preheating oven (if you have one). If you don’t have a baking stone, place a rimless cookie sheet in oven as it preheats. Place the stone (or empty rimless cookie sheet) on the top rack and put a broiler pan or saucepan on the bottom rack.
When dough has risen, slide the shaped dough off of the pan onto the hot stone (or hot rimless cookie sheet). Fill your bottom pan with 2 cups of really hot water. Close the oven quickly so that the steam stays in the oven. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until medium golden brown. When done, the bread sounds hollow when tapped.

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