I have decided to move my recipe day to Sunday. I have a few great recipes to share and ready to go, but I must share this one with you first. While visiting my family, a long time family friend brought over some bread she had made. She said she loved the recipe because it reminded her of the European bread she had grown up in Holland.
(This was a fun revelation to me. I have known Yvonne all my life, but we moved from my home town when I was 11, so I didn’t really know her history, and I had no idea she was from Holland) I was so excited, I immediately called Justin to come up and speak Dutch with her. It was really fun to hear, and I am beginning to understand quite a bit which is nice. It made us both really excited, because Justin is teaching Etta Dutch!…
Well, we cut into the bread which I am telling you is SO – SO – SO – SO – SO good. It is the perfect bread, that you would easily spend 5 dollars a loaf on. And guess what? There are only 4 ingredients and those are cheaper than anything. AND there is no kneading required!
I am asking you to try this recipe out, no special skill is necessary to make perfect crusty, chewy, perfect on the inside, perfect bread! Did I mention this bread is perfect?
Perfect Artisan Bread- EASY!
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 3/4 tsp. salt
Cornmeal as needed
In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water and stir until blended; the dough will be shaggy and very sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at warm room temperature (about 70°F) until the surface is dotted with bubbles, 12 to 18 hours.
Ingredients when first mixed
(12-18 hours later, below)
Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle the dough with a little flour and fold the dough over onto itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
Using just enough flour (I went a little crazy with flour, which you can see from the images) to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface or your fingers, gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel, preferably a flour sack towel (not terry cloth), with cornmeal. Put the dough, seam side down, on the towel and dust with more flour or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise until the dough is more than double in size and does not readily spring back when poked with a finger, about 2 hours.
At least 30 minutes before the dough is ready, put a 2 3/4-quart cast-iron pot in the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F. (We didn’t have one of those really nice French enameled pots, but my mother had a pot that could be backed in so we used that. Worked great! When I got home I used a seasoned dutch oven, which was a little smoky but worked)
Carefully remove the pot from the oven. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over, seam side up, into the pot; it may look like a mess, but that is OK. Shake the pan once or twice if the dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the loaf is browned, 15 to 30 minutes more.
Transfer the pot to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Using oven mitts, turn the pot on its side and gently turn the bread; it will release easily. Makes one 1 1/2-lb. loaf.
When we pulled out I cut a piece and said,
“Please don’t eat this I have to get my camera…”
I ran downstairs and when I came back I found this:
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