No, I did not pick up this beautiful bread at a bakery. I made it myself. Pretty proud, if I do say so myself.
I've never been known as a bread maker, minus the occasional loaf in my bread machine, but this bread didn't even use that! Baking with yeast can be scary at first (at least I think so), but I will admit once you get the hang of it, it isn't as complex as once thought.
And with the help of my Kitchen Aid mixer, this was no work at all.
What I particularly liked about this recipe is this:
- No kneading required.
- Extra dough can be refrigerated for up to 7 days.
- It can be made into other things - pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, etc.
No-Knead Artisan Bread
3 c. lukewarm water
6 1/2 c. flour
1 T. salt
1 1/2 T. instant yeast
Mix and stir everything together to make a very sticky dough. If you have a stand mixer, beat at medium speed for 30 to 60 seconds.
Place dough in a large bowl or food-safe bucket, cover, and let rise at room temperature for 2 hours. Then refrigerate, for up to 7 days.
When you are ready to bake bread, scoop out a piece the size of a softball. Round into a ball, and place on a piece of parchment paper (if using a baking stone); or onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Sift a light coating of flour over the top, to keep the dough moist as it rests. Let the dough rest for 60 minutes. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place a shallow pan on the lowest rack of the oven.
When you are ready to bake, take a sharp knife and slash the top of the bread 2 or 3 times, make a cut about 1/2" deep. Place the bread in the oven, and carefully pour 1 cup hot water into the shallow pan on the rack beneath, to create steam. Close the oven door quickly.
Bake the bread for 25 to 35 minutes (mine went about 30 minutes), until it's a deep, golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Yields: 3 to 4 loaves, depending on size.
(Mine made two large loaves, plus enough for a good sized homemade pizza)
So, what do you think? Can you tackle this bread?
I promise you won't be disappointed.