Monday, August 24, 2015

Artisan Bread

When I was a baby, my mama made all her own bread.  Later, when I was a teenager, she used a bread machine, and I remember the wonderful smell of homemade bread baking throughout the house.  I've only ever made beer bread and banana bread, and, while I have no plans to make 100% of my family's bread from scratch, it's nice to make every now and then.  Especially when you're making a pot of mussels and have an amazing pot of cooking juices in which to dip torn off bites of crusty-on-the-outside-and-chewy-on-the-inside homemade bread!  This recipe is super easy, pretty fast (for bread), and incredibly tasty!  I hope you'll enjoy it as much as me!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water

In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together the flour, salt and yeast. Add water, mixing on slow speed until the mixture forms a shaggy but cohesive dough. Do not over-work the dough. 

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8-24 hours, until it bubbles up and doubles in size.

After dough is ready, preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place a Dutch oven, uncovered, into the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

While the Dutch oven preheats, turn dough onto a well-floured surface.  With floured hands, form the dough into a ball.  Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap and let rest.

One the oven is preheated, remove the Dutch oven and, with floured hands, place the dough into it.Cover and bake for 30 minutes.  Carefully remove cover and bake for 7-15 minutes more, uncovered.

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