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5-Minute Artisan Bread
- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 1-1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
- 1-1/2 tablespoons salt
- 6-1/2 cups flour
Hot Homemade Bread for Dinner Tonight!
Who'd have thought making bread could be so easy?
There are only 4 ingredients to make this bread. It is patterned after crusty French Boule, which is know for is crunchy crust and soft interior.
This recipe makes four 1-pound loaves. It is very easy to double or to halve.
Mixing and Storing the Dough
1. Warm the water slightly and pour into a large bowl. It should feel just a little warmer than your body temperature; about 100 degrees. This temperature will raise the dough in about 2 hours. Hotter water will kill the yeast.
2. Add yeast and salt to the water. Don't worry if it doesn't all dissolve.
3. Mix in the flour. Add it all at once. Make sure to measure it using dry-ingredient measuring cups and level the flour with a knife or spatula.
You can mix with a wooden spoon by hand, or you can use a heavy duty stand mixer fitted with the dough hook until the flour is mixed in well. Do not knead the dough. When the dough is mixed, it will be wet and look messy. That's okay. It is supposed to be that way.
4. Allow to rise. Cover the dough with a loose fitting lid, or oiled plastic wrap for about 2 hours. At this point, the dough can be used right away, or placed in the refrigerator to be used later. Just a note about refrigerated dough - it is much easier to handle if it has been refrigerated. Dough can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Baking the Bread
Get a pizza peel or the back of a cookie sheet ready, by dusting liberally with cornmeal.
5. Sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour. and cut off a 1 pound chunk. This should be about the size of a grapefruit. Using a little extra flour on your hands, shape the dough into a smooth ball by carefully stretching the dough across the top and to the underside of the ball. This should only take about a minute to complete.
6. Place the shaped loaf on the prepared pizza peel or cookie sheet. Let it rest uncovered for about 40 minutes.
7. Twenty minutes before you are ready to bake the bread, preheat your oven to 450° F. and place a pizza stone in to heat. Also place your empty broiler tray on a rack below the pizza stone.
8. Dust the top of the loaf with flour, and make a 1/4" slash across the top to make a tic-tac-toe pattern, or any other that you like.
9. After the oven is preheated, carefully and quickly slide the loaf onto the pizza stone,. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray and close the oven door. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch.
10. When done, let cool completely on a wire rack. If you cut it too soon, it will be gummy inside, so be patient and wait for the bread to cool
11. Store the remaining dough for up to two weeks in the fridge.