Easy, artisanal bread in five minutes

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Have you been afraid to make your own bread, thinking about how it used to take Grandma all day to bake a loaf? Well, here’s a recipe you can serve the day you make it.

And as far as over-all hands-on time, would you believe 5 minutes? Maybe, if you’re a whiz and not counting clean-up… I’d say more like 15 minutes plus clean-up time. Good results depend on following the techniques here, exactly… chewy, dense, delicious… the perfect slice for topping with your favorite spreads. Give it a try and see for yourself.

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Home-made artisanal bread

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (360 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast – can be active, dry or instant
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups HOT water – around 125 to 130 degrees F. I used a thermometer to get it it just right, not too hot or too cold. Make sure it is NOT boiling
  • extra flour for kneading
  • a heavy cast-iron pot with a lid (sometimes called a Dutch oven or creuset)
Artisanal bread

Artisanal bread

1. Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl. I use  a wisk to add lots of air and make sure all three ingredients are evenly mixed.

Artisanal bread

2. Add the hot water. Using hot water speeds up the process, so you don’t have to wait overnight to bake your loaf.

Artisanal bread

3. Mix the water into the dry ingredients. The dough is a bit stringy at this point. Don’t worry. All is good.

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4. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and put it into a rounded 6-inch in diameter mixing bowl. Let the bowl sit on the countertop for at least three hours.

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5. When the dough has puffed up and shows a few bubbles on top (as you can see, mine actually exploded out of its plastic wrap), transfer the sticky, somewhat softened mixture onto a floured surface.  Sprinkle more flour on top of the dough. Knead the dough with your hands for a minute or two, shaping it into a ball. I just moved it back and forth a few times, fipping it over a bit. It is quite floppy, but the flour helps it to hold its shape.

6. Transfer the ball of dough to a round bowl-shaped container that is lined with parchment paper. Cover with a towel.

7. Preheat your oven to 450F, with your oven-safe Dutch oven inside.

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8. Once the oven has reached 450F, remove the Dutch oven with oven gloves and transfer the parchment paper and dough into it. Cover and put the Dutch oven back in the oven for 30 minutes. This method creates moisture, which is what creates an artisanal-type bread.

9. Take the Dutch oven from your oven, lift the loaf from the pan with a spatula, and discard the paper. Put the bread back into the pot. Return the pot uncovered into your oven for 10 minutes longer, to crisp up the crust.

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Voila! You have a fresh loaf of artisan-style bread. Cool the bread on a rack, slice and enjoy!

I sliced my loaf and froze the left-over pieces. They toasted beautifully and tasted as fresh and moist as if they were straight from the oven.

I have never made bread before in my life, although I have baked scones and fruit loafs, like banana bread, often. For my annual braided Christmas bread, I buy frozen bread dough and start from there. So to actually test out making bread from only flour, salt, water and yeast blew my mind… especially when it came out just like the bread I love from our local artisanal bakery. All this for the total cost of only 3 cups of flour.

Next time, you can experiment by adding a few teaspoons of caraway  or poppy seeds. Or perhaps you might like a little crushed rosemary or even garlic, if that flavor is a family favorite. Your imagination is the limit.

Next time for me, I will try it with some whole-grain flour thrown into the mix, perhaps 3/4 cup whole wheat flour and 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour. Bon Appétit !

Related links

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mycookinglifebypatty
    May 09, 2019 @ 12:07:52

    This method looks great! I usually don’t have time to make bread but I do have time to make this. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Vinny Grette
      May 09, 2019 @ 12:21:24

      I was very impressed with how this turned out. I try not to eat bread, especially white bread, but this loaf was too good to resist. And nothing in it but flour. I was just astounded. We just don’t realize where our processed foods come from. It’s all in the proportions and the technique :).

      Reply

  2. Karen
    May 07, 2019 @ 15:58:34

    Can’t wait to give this a try!!

    Reply

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