6/4/10

Fresh artisan bread


I can't remember when I first purchased this book and started making this delicious bread. It seems like it has always been a part of my weekly food routine. The kiddos expect it and my husband looks forward to it. Bread yummy-yummy... eat the whole loaf delicious bread. 

I usually make a batch of this dough at the start of each week. I love how easy it is. I love the fresh smell of bread in the house. And I love watching the family devour it. Homemade bread is great. Since you are the one making it you control what goes in it and what stays out (like preservatives, food coloring, HFCS, etc.).

Here are the "Cliff notes" basic recipe for:

Boule- Artisan free-form bread 

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tbsp granulated yeast (2 packets)
1 1/2 Tbsp kosher or other coarse salt
6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour (I've used whole wheat and it's great too)
Cornmeal for the pizza peel


Using a 5 quart resealable, lidded (not airtight) plastic food container pour water, yeast and salt into container. Stir but don't worry about getting it all dissolved.

Mix in the flour--kneading is unnecessary. Add all the flour at once. When measuring make sure not to compress the flour, just scoop it and level it with a butter knife.

Mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon (or you can use your kitchenaid mixer with the dough attachment). I usually mix with the wooden spoon or spatula because I don't like to clean up more than I have to. When everything is uniformly moist  without dry patches you are done mixing. 

Cover with lid (not airtight) and allow to rise for 2 hours. After the rise you can use some dough right away or put the container in the fridge and use as needed.

Baking.

Prepare pizza peel by sprinkling cornmeal liberally on the surface. It prevents your loaf from sticking when you slide it into the oven. *When I first started making this recipe I did not have a pizza peel I just used a cutting board after I decided I loved making bread is when I bought a cheap pizza peel.

Sprinkle the surface of your refrigerated dough with flour. Pull up and cut off a 1 pound (grapefruit-size) piece of dough, using a serrated knife (I just pulled it out with my hands no need for the knife). Hold the dough in your hands and add a little more flour as needed so it won't stick in your hands. Stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating as you go. This should only take about 1-2 minutes remember you are not kneading the dough just shaping!

Rest the loaf and let it rise on a pizza peel (or your cutting board). Allow to rest 40 minutes, don't cover it. You may not see it rise much during the rest period, no worries.

Twenty minutes before baking preheat oven to 450 degrees. With a baking stone placed on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on any other rack not interfering with the bread. I use the bottom rack.

Dust the top of the dough with flour and slash 1/4 inch deep cross, scallop, or tic-tac-toe pattern on the top, using a serrated bread knife. 

After a 20 minute preheat put your bread in the oven. You will need to be quick at sliding the dough off the peel or cutting board, this takes a little practice. Quickly and very carefully pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray and close the oven.

Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

Store remaining dough back in the fridge and use over the next 14 days. The flavor changes as the dough ages. 

Okay like I said this is the "Cliff Notes" version of the Boule recipe. In the book they have B&W photos for each step. They also give you more details and tips. The book is full of wonderful bread recipes sweet and savory. It's a great book and I love it and use it all the time!

Do you have any delicious bread recipes or cookbooks to share?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Thanks for sharing the link - but unfortunately it seems to be down? Does anybody here at simplyfitmama.blogspot.com have a mirror or another source?


Cheers,
Thomas

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