Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Baking Artisan


The subject of free form embroidery has been discussed. Now let's talk about something new in my kitchen --- free form bread baking! Artisan breads are crusty, hand-formed breads that are compact in crumb and delicious in flavor. Two of my friends, Clarice and Karleen, have been experimenting with them and their efforts have encouraged me to try my hand at it. What fun I've been having experimenting and sharing loaves of bread with friends who stop by for a visit! Fast and easy, you can't go wrong with this recipe. I've adapted their recipes to fit my cooking style.

Artisan Bread

3 cups warm water
1 Tbsp. 1 tsp. mineral salt*
1 1/2 Tbsp. active dry yeast
6 cups all-purpose flour**

Mix all ingredients together and stir until moist. Cover bowl and place in fridge for two hours. Then remove and place dough on floured countertop. Sprinkle flour on top and work dough until it feels solid and smooth to the touch (you won't need much additional flour). Divide dough into four sections.

Form each section into a round or oblong loaf. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with cornstarch. Score the tops of the loaves with a sharp knife. Allow to rise for about 30 minutes. Then place a small bowl of water in the bottom rack of a cool oven and then preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place loaves in oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.

Remove from heat and brush with olive oil. Cool and slice to eat or place in zip-locks to store.

*I use REAL Salt brand of mineral salt; it has a very good flavor and isn't too 'salty'

**Whole wheat flour works for this recipe as well. Use 50% whole wheat and 50% all-purpose flour or 100% whole wheat.

***So far, I haven't worked out a gluten-free version of this recipe (for those who may ask). Maybe in time. . .in the meantime, the kitchen is divided for the gluten-free and the non-gluten-free.

10 comments:

  1. Looks absolutely wonderful. I enjoy baking bread and have made several different kinds. I love the way the bread looks in the picture..I love the slices at the top..

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  2. Tracy F.2:07 PM

    You are so amazing. Gracious Hospitality is a perfect name for you!

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  3. It sounds great and I'm really going to give this a try. Can I bake it on a bad-weather day? That's when I really want to bake.

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  4. I love to bake bread!!! I will certainly be trying this recipe!
    I can smell that lovely, warm yeasty smell from here.

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  5. Anonymous4:01 PM

    Thank you so much for sharing the recipe i am going to try it out on friends tomorow evening.
    what fun i will make 8 individual ones
    love your blog
    te

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  6. Yum!! I am going to try that soon. I'll bet my kiddos would love to help me:)
    Thanks for including pictures. It's always helpful to me when I am making something new in the kitchen.

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  7. Hey, good for you. They look soo yummy!

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  8. Oh now you know I'm going to have to try that! It looks as great as it sounds (and I'll bet, smells )
    Thanks for sharing -

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  9. These look SO yummy! Can't wait to try the recipe--thank you so much for sharing!

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  10. I am sooo glad you tried it. I love that bread. I actually keep my on the dinning room table that two hours xoxox Clarice

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Thank you for commenting on my blog post. I am always happy to hear from blog readers. Your words encourage and inspire me. I am glad you stopped by to share conversation, recipes, ideas, and thoughts on creating a welcoming home.