Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Easiest Ever Artisan Bread

   I have tried recipes from magazines and Pinterest to make crusty Artisan bread before, but now I am perfecting the easiest ever! I heard about this book from a blogger friend and waited some weeks for it to come from the library.

Written by Jim Lahey, founder of Sullivan Street Bakery, this book made me want to be a bread baker. You need one utensil for sure, the Dutch Oven with Lid. It must be able to withstand 475 degrees in the oven.

   I pay $4-5 a loaf for this bread at the grocery store. It has only four ingredients. I could buy a lot of flour for the $40 I will save per month.
                                                                No Knead Bread In A Pot

                                                               3 cups flour-500 grams
                                                                1 1/4 teaspoon salt- 11 grams
                                                               instant or active dry yeast 1/4 teaspoon- 1 gram
                                                               cool water 1 13/4 cups- 390 grams
   To the dry ingredients add the water and mix until flour is incorporated. The dough may be sticky. Shape into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warmish place for 12-18 hours. The longer the better.
                                       (That's my cranberry walnut dough starting it's long rise.)

    It is ready for a second rise when the dough is darkening with bubbles and thread-like strands cling to the bowl.  With a spatula or bowl scraper scrape dough onto a floured surface. Fold the dough over itself and shape into a second ball. It can be pretty sticky, use flour on your hands. Put it to rest on a floured tea towel or surface and let rise 2 hours.

   At the 1 1/2 hour mark put the dutch oven in the oven with lid and preheat to 475 degrees. Be sure to have oven mitts ready to handle the hot pot. Gently let the dough spill into the hot pot. There will be flour loosely on the top and bottom that fall into the pot. Not to worry.

                                   Put the lid on and bake at 475 degrees for 30 minutes.

For the last 15 minutes remove the lid and allow the top to brown. Total baking time-45 minutes.

Viola! Fragrant, crusty bread with a chewy, soft center. I have made 6 loaves this week. Mix it up in the evening and bake it the next day. I have tried mixing in rosemary and sea salt, rye flour in place of 1/2 cup flour, adding dried cranberries and walnuts, and tomorrow I will replace 1/2 cup flour with coconut flour and add chocolate pieces, Can't wait. With the amount of bread available I feel generous sharing with my early morning guests and friends dropping by.


  1. oh you know what, I made that discovery only a couple years ago and was making it weekly. I somehow got out of the habit but you have reminded me just how simple and easy it is. I'm going to get my recipe out again and get mine going -- thanks for the reminder! I definitely agree with you about how easy it is but also how much money we save by making our own!

  2. I discovered that a few years ago too and made it with great success. Like Diane, I fell out of the habit but it is truly easy and good so I will start again. Thanks!


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