Saturday, March 10, 2012

Easy, Fast and Handy Homemade Artisan Bread

photo from

My mother-in-law introduced me to this recipe and it's absolutely delicious! It's quick and easy and you can make enough dough at one time to stick in the fridge and use for more than a week. All you have to do is pull out however much you want to bake at a time, throw it in the oven and there you have it! You can make homemade bread every day if you want without spending all day doing it. Here's the link to the site where she got it. Hope you enjoy it as much as we have!

The Master Recipe

The artisan free-form loaf called the French boule is the basic model for all the no-knead recipes. The round shape (boule in French means “ball”) is the easiest to master. You’ll learn how wet the dough needs to be (wet, but not so wet that the finished loaf won’t retain its form) and how to shape a loaf without kneading. And you’ll discover a truly revolutionary approach to baking: Take some dough from the fridge, shape it, leave it to rest, then let it bake while you’re preparing the rest of the meal.
Keep your dough wet — wetter doughs favor the development of sourdough character during storage. You should become familiar with the following recipe before going through any of the others.

The Master Recipe: Boule
(Artisan Free-Form Loaf)
 Makes 4 1-pound loaves

 3 cups lukewarm water
1 1⁄2 tbsp granulated yeast (1 1⁄2 packets)
1 1⁄2 tbsp coarse kosher or sea salt
6 1⁄2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour

Mixing and Storing the Dough
 1. Heat the water to just a little warmer than body temperature (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit).

 2. Add yeast and salt to the water in a 5-quart bowl or, preferably, in a resealable, lidded container (not airtight — use container with gasket or lift a corner). Don’t worry about getting it all to dissolve.

3. Mix in the flour by gently scooping it up, then leveling the top of the measuring cup with a knife; don’t pat down. Mix with a wooden spoon, a high-capacity food processor with dough attachment, or a heavy-duty stand mixer with dough hook, until uniformly moist. If hand-mixing becomes too difficult, use very wet hands to press it together. Don’t knead! This step is done in a matter of minutes, and yields a wet dough loose enough to conform to the container.
4. Cover loosely. Do not use screw-topped jars, which could explode from trapped gases. Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse (or at least flatten on top), approximately two hours, depending on temperature. Longer rising times, up to about five hours, will not harm the result. You can use a portion of the dough any time after this period. Refrigerated wet dough is less sticky and easier to work with than room-temperature dough. We recommend refrigerating the dough at least three hours before shaping a loaf. And relax! You don’t need to monitor doubling or tripling of volume as in traditional recipes.


P.S. I tried this with whole wheat flour (subtracting a little less than 25%) to see if it works, and unfortunately I didn't like it. The white was much better. I'm going to keep toying around with it though and will let you know if I ever get it to work out just right. If you've had luck substituting wheat flour for white flour, please let me know your tricks. :) Thanks for all the great recipes!
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Natalie Jane said...

They have a different book for whole wheat, I posted about it here:

Michelle Evans said...

thanks! i'm excited to try it out!

Madeline and Family said...

Thanks for sharing this link! My mother and I both want to try this so bad.

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