Artisan Bread

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I got this fantastic bread recipe at a food storage cooking class about using your stored wheat.  The teacher ground whole wheat and used it in the bread.  It was so delicious I couldn't pass up the offer to take some dough home with me and try to make the bread myself.  Since then I have made these delicious little loaves several times and have even given them away to neighbors and friends.  The bread is very easy to make, it just takes some pre-thought and preparation throughout the day. It goes well with soups or chili or just to snack on throughout the day with a little bread and jam.

Makes: 4 small loaves
Start-to-Finish: 3.5 hours (most of this is letting the dough rise or cook, not active prep time)
Recipe By: Cathy Turner


3 cups warm water
1 1/2 TBSP Kosher salt
1 1/2 TBSP yeast
6 1/2 cups flour (some white, some whole wheat)
... later you will need: additional flour for kneading and dusting, cornmeal, 2 cups boiling water


1.  Mix all ingredients in Kitchen Aid mixer using your hook attachment.
2.  When combined place in a large bowl with a loose fitting lid or cover loosely with Saran wrap.
3.  Let sit on the counter for 2 hours (or, if you are not planning on making the bread today, put it in the fridge.)
4.  Cut out a grapefruit size piece of dough (1/4 of the dough) and place on a floured surface. (Use lots of flour, dough will be sticky.)
5. Knead a couple of times and let sit for 20 minutes in a warm place on a slide with cornmeal or 40 - 60 minutes if it has been in the fridge. (Mine took about double this time to rise because my house was cold.) (What is a slide? Anything you can slide the dough off from one surface to another without requiring you to pick it up and risk the rising dough to fall. The cornmeal will keep it the dough from sticking to the slide. Just give it some forward motion and watch it fly.)
6.  Heat oven to 400* with your bread stone already inside. (I don't have a bread stone so I used an upside down standard cookie sheet and it worked just fine for me.)
7.  Add 2 cups of boiling water to a pan on the lower shelf of the oven.
8.  Slide the dough onto the hot bread stone in the oven. (Here is where you use that forward motion.)
9.  Bake for 30 minutes.
10.  The dough will get a little more sour tasting each day you let it sit in the fridge. It is too sour by day ten.