Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bread making just got easier! Here's an Artisan bread with only 10 mins. of your personal time. It ferments on it's own for 8-18 hrs. while you're doing other things. A nice thick crust, it looks and tastes incredible! (from Cook's Illustrated) Tweaked by Pam. :)

Artisan Bread-Almost No-Knead

Baked in either a Dutch oven, enameled cast iron Dutch oven or a heavy stockpot, this bread is amazing. Baking it in a a pot with a lid simulates a professional steam oven. So easy and tasty!

Personal time: 10 mins.
Total time: about 20 hrs.

3 cups flour (I used 2 cups hard white wheat & 1 cup all purpose flour)
1/2 tsp. yeast (either instant or regular work)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons honey if using whole wheat flour
Optional: Add 1 T. minced fresh rosemary & 1 cup parmesan in step one.

1. Whisk flour, yeast, and salt in large bowl. Add honey to liquids. Using a rubber spatula, fold wet mixture to dry mix, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hrs. (I've successfully put it in a warm 170 degree oven, then turned off the temperature, turning it on and off again to keep it slightly warm)

2. Spray or wipe with oil a long piece of parchment paper then place inside a 10-inch skillet or a basket around that size (my 8" x 8" x 4" tall basket works great). Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead about 10-15 times forming it into a ball as you knead, pulling edges into the middle each time. Transfer ball, seam side down, to the parchment-lined basket or skillet. Spray or wipe oil on top of ball and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Once again, let rise at room or low oven temperature until doubled, about 2 hours.

3. 10 mins. before baking, place a 6 or 8 quart pot or Dutch oven with the lid in oven to heat at 425 degrees F. Lightly flour top of dough and using a razor blade or very sharp knife, make one 6-inch-long, 1/2-inch-deep slit along top of dough.

4. Carefully remove hot pot and lid from oven. *Leave a pot holder on the lid to remind you that it is hot! (doesn't hurt to do the same on the handles of the pot) Pick up dough by lifting parchment paper overhand and lower gently into pot, letting any excess paper hang over. Cover pot and place in oven for 35 mins.

5. Remove lid and continue baking until loaf is deep brown, approximately 15 mins. longer. Inserting an instant-read thermometer into center should register 210 degrees. Carefully remove from pot using paper to hold onto; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 1-2 hours.

*Fermented breads need to cool. Resist the urge to tear into it until it's fully cooled. Then toast or re-warm if desired.

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