Artisan Bread

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(click on pic to enlarge)

I know many people, well, actually, not many, I really know a few people, well actually, I know fewer than that…maybe it would be safe to say, “I don’t know anyone who bakes their own bread.”

I’m guessing, the reason is it seems like a real pain.  It isn’t.  I have been baking my own bread for a very long time now – years.  Not sure how many years, but years.

I bake a loaf of bread each weekend and use it throughout the week.  I’ve got it down to about 10 minutes of actually doing stuff.  The bread does the rest of the work.  I do look forward to that bread smell.

I use it for panini sandwiches,  french toast, Focaccia bread and the outer layer bread crumbs when frying up a batch of schnitzel.

Ingredients:

3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups hot water from the tap
1 tsp. Rapidrise bread machine yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt

Utensils:

1 large bowl (Plastic is easiest to clean)
1 baking spatula
1 spray water bottle
1 large pot with a lid

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In the large bowl dump all ingredients.

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Mix with spatula and paddle the flour around for about 4 to 5 minutes.  The flour will soak up the water so I use the spray water bottle to moisten it a little until it looks like this.

 

100_5120I cover the dough with a cloth and place it in the oven to let it rise.  Obviously you do not want the oven on.  The oven is a great place to protect the dough from things falling into it. I leave it in the oven for about 2 hours.

100_5122After 2 hours it should look like so.

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I use the spatula to assist the dough onto a floured kneading board.

100_5124I sprinkle flour on the dough and knead for about 3 to 4 minutes.  The reason I knead it at all is to squeeze out as many air bubbles as I can.  Doing this makes a better sandwich bread.  But, I have made no knead bread before.   I form the dough into a ball and place it in the big pot and cover it.  Then I heat the oven to 425 ⁰F (218 ⁰C).

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I bake the bread for 30 minutes.  Then I remove the lid and bake it another 15 minutes to brown the crust. It should look like this.

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Then I wrap it in a towel and let it cool.  This is a very important step b/c it allows the bread to cool and the crust to soften a little.

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That’s it.

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Can it be that easy?

(Someone say yes).

 

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