I had no idea Artisan Bread was so easy to make until I watched someone make it. Since then, it’s been my go-to bread and has never failed me.
Artisan bread needs a dutch oven-type atmosphere. We own a ceramic dutch oven but my mother-in-law says it’s most important to “create an oven within an oven.” It needs to be a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot like cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, or ceramic.
Artisan Bread Recipe:
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients into a bowl. If you want to make a flavored bread, now is the time to add ingredients. In the past, I have added garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and grated Parmesan cheese. If you are adding other ingredients, increase yeast to 1/2 tsp.
1 1/2 cups water
Add water to the dry ingredients and mix until all flour is incorporated. The dough will be stiff. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest for 12-18 hours at about 70 degrees. However, I’ve stopped the resting at 7-8 hours and the bread has turned out fine.
You will know the dough is done resting when there are little bubbles dotting the surface of the dough.
After the rest, place dough on well-floured work surface and lightly sprinkle dough with flour. Create a surface tension by gently kneading the dough for about 7-8 kneads.
Place dough into a well-sprayed, non-stick bowl. I usually use the same bowl and cover the inside of the bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Place dough into bowl, seam side down.
Cover the bowl. Let the dough rise for 2 hours. Dough will be ready when it has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
After dough has been rising for about 1 1/2 hours, preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place covered 6-8 quart pot in the oven for 30 minutes.
When dough has risen for 2 hours, carefully remove HOT pot from oven. Turn dough over into the pot (seam side should be up). Cover and bake for about 25 minutes. At this point, my bread is always done but you can also uncover the pot and continue baking for about 5-10 minutes or until browned to your liking.
Cool on wire rack before cutting.