I’ve always been intimidated by baking bread — Have I kneaded it long enough? Did I proof the yeast correctly? Why is there potato in this recipe and not in another? At our last food swap, Anastasia shared this simple recipe for artisan bread that tastes great and is so easy to make. After trying it a few times now, all my fears of rising, kneading and random potatoes are a thing of the past.
Here’s what you’ll need for two loaves (I halved the original recipe linked above):
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
3/4 tablespoon granulated yeast (1 packet)
3/4 tablespoon kosher salt or other coarse salt
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
In a small bowl, mix water and yeast. In a large bowl, mix salt and flour. Then, add water/yeast to flour/salt and mix together with a wooden spoon, stopping when it all comes together in a ball.
Let it rise, covered, for two hours. It should double in size and look foamy.
Scoop it out of the bowl with your hand (it should come out easily) and place it on a floured surface. Divide into two equal balls, and gently flour.
Let it sit and rise for another 40 minutes.
Put on a baking sheet, slit the top and bake in a 450 degree oven for 30 minutes.
When it’s done, it should be lightly golden on top and feel hollow.
Enjoy with your favorite spreads. Its dense texture is also perfect for dipping in a hearty soup.
The best thing about this recipe is you can make a huge batch and keep the uncooked dough in your fridge for a few days. Simply break off the amount you want and enjoy fresh-baked bread anytime.
I bet it would also be good with fresh herbs or kalamata olives mixed in or stuffed with cheese and pesto, like Leslie did with her asiago pesto bread.
And if you’re making hot cereal for breakfast this winter, here’s another tried and true bread recipe using leftover cereal.