Monday, October 18, 2010

Artisan bread recipe for your holiday dinner

Have you ever tried to bake your own bread? It's not as complicated as you might think. All it takes is time and a dutch oven. It can be a great addition to your holiday dinner as it not only tastes good it looks fantastic!

We love nice and fresh artisan bread the type you cannot find in regular supermarkets. That's why my husband made a simple research on-line one day and found a great New York Times article about baking simple artisan bread at home. We tried to bake our own and the result exceeded all our expectations. From that time on our home baked artisan bread is a staple in our house and my kids simply cannot do without it. We try to bake it once or twice a week as it doesn't last long in our family!
artisan bread for christmas dinner

This bread is relatively simple to cook. You will need 500 gr. of unbleached bread flour, 375 gr. of water or 75% of the flour weight, 1 and 1/2 tea spoons of salt and 1/4 tea spoon of yeast. To bake it right you will need a dutch oven that can be actually used for cooking a lot of other fantastic dishes later on.

The secret is in precise measurements! The water amount should not exceed 75% of the flour weight!
artisan bread for holiday table

We mix up all ingredients just enough for flour to get wet and put the mixture aside for 15-18 hours depending on your room temperature. We, thus, give yeast enough time to work on flour in a natural and old fashioned way.

After full 15-18 hours our raw bread is pretty much ready. We create a baker’s envelop on a table and then form a loaf out of our mixture. The stove should be preheated to 500F and our dutch oven should be already inside hot and ready. If you plan on baking bread don't buy a dutch oven that has anything plastic on it. All this plastic will melt away! And please be careful with that hot dutch oven! It’s very very hot!

The actual cooking time is 30 minutes. After that we leave our dutch oven inside the stove for additional 15 minutes but take the lid off for our bread to get a beautiful and crunchy top crust. It makes sense to decrease the stove temperature to around 420F so that our bread doesn't burn.

artisan bread recipe

That's pretty much it. We always give our bread time to cool down although it is hard to do with our kids circling around. When you bake this artisan bread your home fills with unbelievable aromas that make you think of holidays, family gatherings and feasts.

This bread tastes very good and it's quite simple to bake. It's definitely worth trying!


IrinaN said...

Looks really yummy! :)

SocksAndMittens said...

It looks absolutely great! I love fresh baked bread