Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lindsay's Artisan Bread

Lindsay's Artisan Bread
In a large mixing bowl, add:
3 cups white flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp yeast
whisk together.  Then add 1 1/2 cups warm water.  The dough will look like a shaggy mess.  That is ok!  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let sit on counter for 12-18 hours. Overnight is great.  After 12 hours the dough should look sticky and bubbly.  

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Once heated, place an EMPTY, CAST IRON pot with it's lid into the heated oven to cook for 30 minutes.  This step is so important!  Do not skip!
Meanwhile, dump your bread dough onto a HEAVILY floured surface and carefully shape into a round ball.  You do not need to handle it very much, and there is no need to knead it or punch it down.  Remember, it took a long time to get those air bubbles in there!  :)  Cover it again with plastic wrap and let it sit while your pot is heating up. Once your pot is heated thoroughly, remove it from the oven.  Cover your hands with flour, then gently place the dough in the bottom of the pan (without the plastic wrap).  Put the lid on the pot and bake for 30 minutes.  Then remove the lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Once done, use all the will power you have to let loaf completely cool before serving.  This is the part you pat yourself on the back and tell yourself how awesome you are....because YOU ARE. 

*Tip:  I tried using whole wheat flour.  Do not do it.  It's wayyyyyy too heavy for this type of bread.  

Some of my favorite mix in ideas:
Use different types of cheeses like: jalapeno, pepper jack, cheddar, sharp, etc
Rosemary, lemon zest, and shredded gruyere cheese 
Cranberry, orange, almond
pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and poppy seeds
Cinnamon, raisin, walnut
Lemon zest, thyme, asiago

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