I have a confession… The last few weeks I’ve been obsessed with watching the Great British Baking Show on Netflix. Not just the actual show though, but the Masterclass series where the judges, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, bake their interpretations of the challenges from the show. (Didn’t know there was a Masterclass series, eh? Well, you’re welcome.)
To be honest, it was something that I originally started to help pass the time while recovering, however it’s actually SUPER fascinating! All of those baked cakes, torts and breads. (Drool…) It actually reinvigorated my love of baking and got me itching to make a homemade artisan bread! Which is the recipe I bring to you all today!
For the blog, I try to use a combination of original recipes. Ones where I just come up with an idea and run with it. As well as recipes I’ve found online (**cough… Pinterest… cough**) which inspire me, and then I use those as a base and go in my own direction. This week’s recipe is actually an homage to a recipe for artisan bread that Autumn, from It’s Always Autumn, posted on her blog. It was so incredibly delicious that I didn’t want to tamper with any of the ingredients. I did adjust some of the proofing and baking times, as well as the method to which I baked my bread, but otherwise I based my recipe on what she had written. So. Good.
Enough dilly-dallying though, onto the actual recipe! It’s a simple recipe, involving only four ingredients: flour, yeast, salt and water. The simplicity of ingredients is one of the aspects that I really enjoy about making bread. Specifically this recipe. It takes about 5 minutes to prep and then the rest is just allowing the bread to proof so that the yeast can do it’s thang. (Yes, thang.)
I allowed my bread to proof overnight, for 16 hours, and the results were delicious! You can allow your dough to proof for less time, if you’re in a time crunch. When I was doing some research on bread baking, I saw some posts that mentioned allowing the bread to proof for 10-12 hours instead of longer. Just remember, the longer you allow your dough to proof, the more flavor you will have, as the yeast is what provides flavor.
I’ve made this several times in the last week, and each time it has received marvelous reactions from friends and family. It’s also not lasted more than two days in my house, which is always the true test to me. It has such a great flavor to it that one might think it was procured from a bakery. Ha!
Whether you want to serve this artisanal bread as a side with dinner, or use it as the foundation in a sandwich, (or maybe just sit down on the couch with some butter and a knife, lathering that bread up and devouring it. Like I may have…) it’s sure to delight! (Possibly in an addictive way. Maybe it’s better if you hide the knife…)
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please feel free to share your pictures of your own Artisan Bread loaves on Instagram and tag me @starknakedcooking! I’d love to see how they come out!
As always, thank you for cooking with me on Stark Naked Cooking and have a wonderful week! Until next weekend, when our food adventure continues!
- 3 Cups All Purpose Flour (AP)
- 1/2 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1.5 Cups Water (Room Temp)
- In a large mixing bowl, place the flour, salt and yeast, making sure to keep the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl. **Do NOT mix these ingredients yet** This is so that the salt does not tamper with the yeast, and slow down fermentation, before water is introduced.
- Pour in the water and stir ingredients together with a spoon until mostly combined. Then use your hands and lightly knead until all of the ingredients are combined.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit out over night to proof*. (16 hours was what yielded a very flavorful loaf.)
- At this point your dough should have doubled in size. Sprinkle your clean work area with AP flour and turn out your dough. You may need to use one hand to scrape down the sides of the bowl first to loosen the dough. (Don't be afraid if the texture of your dough is loose. It should be!)
- Turn over on itself a few times and then return to a clean bowl and cover with plastic. Let rest 15 minutes. This will help shape the dough into a rounder, artisan loaf, structure.
- Take your Dutch oven, grease the bottom, then line the bottom with parchment paper. Lightly sprinkle some cornmeal on the parchment paper.
- Now, shape the dough into a ball and place in the Dutch oven.
- Cover with the lid and let sit for 2 hours. The dough will rise to be more than twice it's size. Yum!
- Preheat the oven to 450F.
- Bake with lid* on for 20-30 minutes. Each oven is different, so the heat may vary. My oven's sweet spot was 25 minutes.
- Remove the lid, or aluminum foil, and bake until the crust is a golden brown color. It should make a hollow noise when you tap it. This could take anywhere from 5-15 minutes, depending on your oven. My oven's sweet spot was 6 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow the bread to cool inside of the Dutch oven for 10-15 minutes.
- Turn the bread out of the Dutch oven onto the cooling rack.*
- Cut into slices and enjoy!
- *Just a Little Tip (JLT): Proofing is the process in which we allow the yeast to activate in the dough. The dough will expand; sometimes to double it's size. And the longer you allow the dough to proof, the more flavorful the bread. For this recipe, 16 hours was the sweet spot for proofing.
- *JLT: If you don't have a lid to your Dutch oven, or you don't want to use the lid, you can cover the Dutch oven with aluminum foil. I used this technique at home and the results were still incredible!
- *JLT: If your Dutch oven is too heavy for you to turn over, feel free to use a plastic spatula to lift up under the bread for you to remove it.