Whole wheat bread made from freshly ground wheat is a staple at our house. But we like to venture with new recipes for other types of bread too. Here is an easy, carefree, make-it-and-walk-away, have-fun-with-the-kids type recipe for Artisan Bread. I start it the night before then return to the kitchen to heat the oven about 1 hour and 45 minutes before I want the bread to be ready to eat.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp yeast
- 1 ½ c warm water
Combine the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Add the warm water and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until the dough comes together into a “shaggy” lump. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 18-20 hours.
Heat the oven to 450F. Once the oven is heated, place a cast iron pot (or Dutch oven, heat proof ceramic bowl or crock pot with its lid) into the oven for 30 minutes. If the dish/pot does not have a lid, make one out of tin foil.
While the pot is heating inside the oven, remove the plastic wrap from the dough. The dough will look bubbly and will be VERY sticky. Pour the dough out onto a well-floured surface and shape the dough as if to fit the pot in which it will bake. (Note: Do not knead the dough, or you will have a very dense bread.) Place the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and let rest.
Remove the heated pot from the oven, and carefully place the parchment and dough into the pot. Cover the pot with the lid bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the lid from the pot. The bread should be well risen and cracked across the top. Bake the bread for 15 minutes without the lid. This will allow the bread to brown and develop a nice crust.
Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out onto a bread board or wire rack. Allow the bread to cool for about 15 minutes before cutting.