Hello again, Somewhat Simple readers! I’m happy to be back again today with another great recipe for you! I am a huge bread lover, and would prefer a piece of fresh-baked bread to pretty much anything else… even dessert! I’ve been experimenting with bread recipes a lot during the last year, and have found a few fail-safe recipes that always turn out well. This quick and easy crusty artisan bread is one of my favorites!
It’s pretty simple. You start out by adding yeast and salt to warm water, and letting it proof. Then you stir in the flour to make a (very loose) dough, and let it rise. It will look different than your typical bread dough, but that’s okay! After it has risen, shape it into two (probably sticky) balls, and let them rest on parchment paper for about 40 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 450 with a pizza stone inside. If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a cookie sheet turned upside down and preheated in the oven. On the shelf below the pizza stone, place a broiler pan or cake pan.When the dough has risen again, dust the top with flour and cut three deep slashes in the top with a sharp knife.
Using a pizza peel (or a cutting board if you’re like me and don’t own a peel), transfer the dough carefully to the pizza stone. Pour 1 cup of water into your broiler pan or cake pan, and close the oven door quickly so the steam will stay inside. Bake 24-28 minutes, and enjoy!
My favorite way to eat it is just slathered with butter (and sometimes a little honey). We also love dipping it in soup! My husband’s favorite way to eat it is to spread it with butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toast in the toaster oven for a few minutes. No matter how you eat it, it’s delicious!
Crusty Artisan Bread
1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
3 cups warm water
1 tablespoon salt
6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting dough
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Mix in salt and flour, stirring until there are no dry patches. The dough will be very soft and not like a typical bread dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
After rising, divide dough into two pieces and shape each into a round ball. Place each ball of dough on a piece of parchment paper, and let rest 40 minutes.
During the second rise, preheat oven to 450. Place a baking stone or overturned baking sheet on the upper oven rack, and a broiler pan or metal cake pan on the lower shelf. Heat the baking stone at least 20 minutes before baking.
When the dough is ready to bake, dust it with flour and cut three deep slashes across the top. Slide the dough on the parchment paper onto the baking stone using a pizza peel (or a thin cutting board). Pour a cup of water into the broiler pan/cake pan and shut the oven door quickly. Bake until golden brown, 24-28 minutes.
adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe