Sunday, October 21, 2012

Artisan Bread

One of the things I miss the most about living in America are the bakeries. Panera, Corner Bakery, Einstein Bros, the list goes on. Nevermind that they are chains, I don't particularly care. I love their freshly baked breads that completely blow the supermarket sawdust breads out of the water. Japan has their own niche of mom and pop bakeries, but the Japanese breads are not as hearty as the artisan or whole wheat versions I have come to know and love from home. They definitely have their place, but with a typically very soft and sweeter texture, they almost seem like breakfast or dessert breads instead of hearty sandwich or soup dunking breads.

With fall moving in and cooling off the rest of the northern hemisphere, it's still a warm 75-80 degrees every day here. We get a day or two of "real" autumn weather when typhoons pass by or when we're in their wake but it's usually short lived. I honestly forget to unpack my autumn decorations and candles unless I make a mental note or a reminder on my calendar. By the time the temperatures really cool off, it's almost Thanksgiving and it'll be pointless to scramble to do all of the autumn-y stuff because in just a few days it'll be time for Christmas decorations and recipes! So, I push through and cook fall themed recipes despite it feeling like summer outside. I figured you would appreciate my perseverance!

When I came across this bread, my jaw dropped. An artisan loaf which requires NO kneading whatsoever. Did my eyes deceive me? No, my yeast, carb, bread loving friends, no they have not. Where has this bread been all my life?? Like with my deadbecauseioverwateredthem pitiful little plants on the patio, I tend to have the nasty habit of over-kneading bread doughs, which of course result in yeasty little hockey pucks. Making a bread dough completely Jordyn-proof earns the recipe an A+ in my book, and this particular recipe earns a gold star on top of that! Straight to the front of the class, little loaf, you have become my star pupil!
The only downside to this bread is that he requires a teensie weensie bit o' patience. Like 18 hours worth of patience. Please try to contain yourself and do what you need to do in order to not disturb the rising dough during said hours. Invest in shackles if you must, because while the dough is rising and bubbling and doing it's thaaaaang, you'll only make the waiting worse on yourself if you sit in your kitchen and watch it work. Not that I did that... not that I'm speaking from experience... not that I'm trying to warn you away from yeast-induced delirium. I'm just saying, you know, just generally... for anyone else who might have a bread addiction. A watched dough doesn't rise. Well, ok it does but it will seem like it takes forever.

Since I first found the recipe, I've made this bread about once a week. It comes out wonderful and delicious every single time. The biggest tip I have for you though is to flour the final ball of dough before you pop it into the dutch oven. I forgot to do that step just once and the bread glued itself to the pot. It was NOT very fun trying to pull that thing out of the pot. It's been deliciously wonderful for everything I've used it for, so it's possibilities are endless! Please promise me you'll make it soon and let me know how it turns out for you, ok? Ok.

No-Knead Artisan Bread

Barely adapted from FrugalLivingNW

6 cups bread flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 teaspoon instant or active-dry yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 cups cold water

Cornmeal, for dusting

In a large bowl or lidded stock pot, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated; the dough should be wet and sticky. If it’s too dry, add another tablespoon or two of water until all of the flour is hydrated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, top with the pot’s lid if one fits. Let the dough rest 15-18 hours on the counter at room temperature. When surface of the risen dough has darkened slightly, smells yeasty, and is dotted with bubbles, it is ready.

Flour a work surface with AP flour, as well as your hands. Place dough on work surface and sprinkle with more flour. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice and, using floured fingers, tuck the dough underneath to form a rough ball.

Generously dust a tea towel (not terry cloth) with enough flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the towel as it rises. Place dough seam side down on the towel and dust with more flour. Cover with the edges or a second cotton towel and let rise for about 30 minutes, until it just barely starts to rise again.

When the second rest is almost complete, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot and lid, such as a cast-iron Dutch oven, in the oven as it heats. When the oven is at temperature, carefully remove pot from oven and remove the lid. Lightly spray the bottom with Pam and dust with a light layer of cornmeal. Gently drop the dough into the pot from the tea towel and replace the lid. Do not worry if the dough looks lopsided or uneven, it will distribute itself as it bakes.

Cover and bake for 40-45 minutes. Uncover and continue baking about 5-10 more minutes, until a deep chestnut brown. The internal temp of the bread should be around 200 degrees. You can check this with a meat thermometer, if desired.

Remove the bread from the pot and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. It will sound like firewood crackling as it cools, how awesome is that? Use slices for whatever your heart desires.


  1. Dude, I love making bread in a cast iron Dutch oven too. Creates a great crust. Nice recipe!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Stacy! It was my first time using that technique, and I was so impressed with how well it worked. I'm glad you enjoy using it too!

  2. What an easy recipe! I found it to be a little more moist than I am used to with breads (could have been that I had the wrong consistency, though), and next time I make it I'd probably add a bit more salt, but overall it's the easiest, tastiest artisan bread I've encountered! :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Stefanie! I wonder why yours turned out super moist? I've noticed that super humid climates affect breads and doughs more than I would have ever thought- maybe it was raining or humid in your area the day you made the bread? I've had to add a little more flour on those types of days since my area is very humid. I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe though :)


Leave some love!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Site Design By Designer Blogs