Thursday, June 18, 2009

Artisan Bread

So, I finally got around to trying the recipe out. Tastes quite nice!

The recipe allows you to mix flour, salt, yeast, and water to make a dough that rises for a few hours on the counter and then goes into the refrigerator to use at your leisure for up to two weeks.

You can use the dough to make pizza bases, bread rolls or loafs.
When you’re ready for fresh baked bread –simply load your hands up with flour, cut off a grapefruit size piece of dough from your container of dough, form it (if you haven’t made rounds before, you may need to see a video for this part) and place it on a pizza slide you have covered in corn meal/flour to rise for about 40 minutes (in the warmest part of your home).

Preheat your oven to 210 degrees celcius (fan forced) for 20 minutes (or halfway through the rising time) with a pizza stone on the middle rack and a broiler pan on the bottom rack–to be filled with a cup of very hot water when you slide your risen bread dough into the oven onto the stone. Slit the top of your risen dough with a serrated knife (dip knife in flour to keep it from sticking), sprinkle some flour over top, and bake! 30 minutes later, you should get something that looks like the photo at the top of the page (which I will be adding later).


Recipe: Simple Crusty Bread

Adapted from “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007)

1.5 tablespoons yeast
1 tablespoons salt
6.5 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough
3 cups lukewarm water


1. In a large bowl or plastic container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 40 degrees celcius). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours) in a warm draught free spot.

2. Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and cut off a grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put dough on pizza slide sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.

3. Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 210 degrees celcius (fan forced); heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.

4. Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 25 minutes. Cool completely.

Yield: 4 small loaves.

NOTES: Make sure you use the pizza stone and add the hot water right after you slide dough oven. I do not have a pizza slide, so I used a the bottom side of a slice tin.

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