Artisan Bread for Beginners

This bread will take time, but relatively easy to make.  It’s an artisan no-knead bread recipe that only requires four ingredients.  Baking bread has been very trendy lately, but beyond that fresh bread really does make a difference in taste and it lasts longer.  It is also great for showing off baking skills without the big hassle.

Time:

4 and a half hours (not including fridge time of about 18 hours)

Serves:

4-5 (Two 8” loaves)

Good for:

  • Nutritious stock and broth to add to dishes
  • Added richness in flavour
  • Minerals and vitamins for kids

Ingredients:

  • 3 and ¼ cups bread flour 
  • 2 tspn instant yeast
  • 2 tspn coarse salt 
  • 1 and ½  cups cool water
  • Cornmeal for dusting pan (optional)

Kitchen things you’ll need:

  • Wooden spatula or spoon (silicon also work for not sticking)
  • Foil or plastic wrap
  • Cookie baking sheet

Making it:

  1. In a large un-greased mixing bowl, whisk the flour, yeast, and salt together.
  2. Pour in the cool water and gently mix together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  3. The dough will seem dry and shaggy, but keep working it until all the flour is moistened. If needed, use your hands, the dough will be sticky.
  4. Shape into a ball in the bowl as best you can and cover tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Set on the counter at room temperature.
  5. Allow to rise for 2-3 hours. The dough will about double in size.
  6. For absolute best flavor and texture, it’s best to let this risen dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days (18 hours is usually a good amount).  The dough may deflate but that’s normal.
  7. Otherwise lightly dust a large non-stick baking sheet with flour and/or cornmeal. Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut dough in half.
  8. Place dough halves on prepared baking sheet and using floured hands, shape into 2 long loaves about 9×3 inches each (doesn’t have to be exact) about 3 inches apart.
  9. Loosely cover and allow to rest for another 45 minutes. You will bake the dough on this prepared baking sheet.
  10. During this 45 minutes, preheat the oven to  246°C (475°F).
  11. When ready to bake, using a very sharp knife score the bread loaves with 3 slashes, about 1/2 inch deep. If the shaped loaves flattened out during the 45 minutes, use floured hands to narrow them out along the sides again.
  12. Place the shaped and scored dough (on the flour/cornmeal dusted pan) in the preheated oven on the center rack. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
  13. Gently tap the loaves– if they sound hollow, the bread is done.
  14. Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Tips:

  • For a slightly crispier crust and after the oven is preheated and bread is scored, place a shallow baking pan on the bottom oven rack. Carefully and quickly pour 3-4 cups of boiling water into it. Place the scored dough/baking pan on a higher rack and quickly shut the oven, trapping the steam inside. The steam helps create a crispier crust.
  • Store leftovers loosely covered at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s