Hi Everyone! I hope you are all having a good week so far! My week unfortunately went from bad to worse when the cold I caught this weekend turned into a nasty sinus infection, forcing me to spend most of the week sitting on the couch coughing and sneezing. At this point I think I’m going to start buying some stock in Kleenex, Ricola cough drops and Twinings peppermint tea! I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m sick, all I want to eat is cozy comfort food. I’m convinced that a bowl of steaming hot chicken noodle soup or some freshly baked bread will go a long way in helping you get better! One of my friends, however, has decided to make some grim jokes about it. Though I appreciate her trying to be sensible with the final expense insurance she mentioned, I don’t think I’m at death’s door from this! Still, it is worth considering for the future. Right now though, I just want to be cozy. And so, I made this Easy Homemade Artisan Bread a couple of days ago, and couldn’t believe how good it was and how incredibly easy it was to make! The bread is so soft on the inside with a wonderful crust on the outside, and looks and tastes like it came from your favorite bakery! All you need to do is mix a couple of ingredients in the evening, let the dough sit overnight and bake it off in the morning, and you have a beautiful loaf of fresh bread perfect to eat with a hearty fall soup or a delicious salad. Or, and this is the best way to eat it, still warm with a (thick!) spread of butter!
EASY HOMEMADE ARTISAN BREAD
(Recipe from The Baker Chick)
*Makes 1 loaf*
YOU WILL NEED
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp dry yeast
1 – 2 tsp salt
1. Using a wooden spoon, stir together the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl (adjust the salt according to how salty you like your bread). Add the water and mix the ingredients until you have a very wet dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put a kitchen cloth over it and let it sit in a warm place for several hours (I let mine sit overnight, for 12 hours. The original recipe says to let it sit for 8 – 18 hours).
2. Once the dough is done rising, it should be very wet and bubbly. Turn it out onto a floured surface (it will be very wet and you will need quite a bit of flour) and shape it into a ball. Let it sit covered while you preheat your oven to 450 deg F. Prepare your Dutch oven by placing it in the oven while it is preheating, and cut out a circle out of parchment paper to line the bottom of the pot.
3. Once the oven is done preheating, place the parchment paper on the bottom of your pot and carefully place the dough ball in it. Bake covered for 30 minutes, then take the lid off and bake uncovered for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
Happy Baking, Everyone!