I have the most foolproof Artisan Bread recipe there is. Tried & tested in my kitchen 3 times so far. I’m talking nice, brown & crusty on the outside with enough air inside to stay soft, bubbly & delicious. Usually this kind of recipe requires a dutch oven but man has to emulate the dutch oven! You can experiment with different flours for your dough but for classic purposes this one is just white flour.
This recipe makes a decent size loaf! 1 big loaf that would feed a family of 3 or 4 for a deli plate or as a side for a meal, or a few deli style sandwiches.
SO simple! No sugar required.
1 tbsp of Salt
1 tbsp of Dry Active Yeast (not Instant Yeast)
4 cups of All Purpose White Flour
2 cups of Hot Water (Not Boiled but hot to touch)
2 tbspof Olive Oil
1 x Wooden Spoon
1 x Big Mixing Bowl
1 x Clean tea towel or a big cake tin base to cover the mixing bowl
1 x Regular Oven (if its fan mode you can turn that off)
1 x Regular Baking tray and baking pot
Steps to Heavenly Bread
- Take your mixing bowl & put your 1 tbsp of Salt in there. If its Sea Salt, just grind it by rubbing it in your fingers or use a pestle & morter. I find its just as easy to use your hands and it does not affect the recipe.
- Take your 1 tbsp of Dry Active Yeast and put that in the bowl too!
- Now add your 2 cups of hot water & just stir the yeast with the salt for 1 minute until it looks like the salt is absorbed with the water & yeast.
- Add the 4 Cups of All Purpose Flour to the mix & mix it up with the wooden spoon! After about a minute all your flour should have mixed up nicely. if the mix is too sticky just scrape mixture off the spoon with the spatula & sprinkle more flour to the mix until its more dough like & whole. To be honest though you shouldn’t need to sprinkle much at all with this recipe if you did your measurements right!
- Now its looking somewhat dough like I would take the dough by hand & just knead it a little just to make sure there aren’t so many lumps but don’t worry about this too much. This is almost a no knead style artistan bread! So don’t worry at all if its a little bit lumpy. A good tip: Sprinkle some more flour before you handle the dough if its still looking sticky. This way it wont stick to your hands so much.
- Now your dough is prepared keep it in the mixing bowl and cover with your tea towel or cake tin lid (anything big enough to cover the top basically) & wait 2 hours for it to rise!
- 2 hours later you will find the dough has doubled in size! Or somewhere near double!
- Sprinkle some flour over the dough as you’re going to shape your bread now. Dig down with your fingers from the sides and start shaping a round loaf tucking in the mixture underneath. Do this a few times until the dough is all joint together & looks like there isn’t too many cracks. A few wont harm the end result but generally try and have as little lumps and cracks as possible. This should take no longer than a minute or two!
- Now place your bread in the middle of your baking tray (with parchment or baking paper on the tray ideally but if you don’t have it doesnt matter as it won’t stick anyway). You’re not going to put it in the oven yet. You’ll simply leave the dough in room temperature for 40 minutes!
- Pre-Heat your Oven (if its fan operated turn fan mode off) on 240 °C / 465 °F
- While your pre heating just use a knife to indent imperfections in the loaf kind of like scoring paper with scissors! You know the effect bread has! and Drizzle on your 2 tbsp of Olive Oil. You can use a brush if you’re fancy or the back of your spoon to make sure its covered. Any that drips off onto the tray will cook the bottom of your loaf nicely too!
- Now take your baking pot & place in it a tall glass of hot water & put it on the bottom shelf of your oven. This will emulate the effects of an expensive dutch oven which will craft your bread the artisan way.
- Place your baking tray with the bread on it on the middle shelf or top shelf (some ovens only have two shelves) and wait 30 minutes!
- Voila! Amazing bread. Mine, pictured!
Now impress your partners your kids etc! Give someone a decent loaf of bread & they’ll always be thankful! If you’re gluten intolerant I’m sure you can use Gluten Free flour!