Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Let's bake some bread together

I've been yammering on about this easy, too-good-to-be-true Artisan Bread recipe for a few weeks now. It's time to bake some! Today, we'll make the dough – it shouldn't take you more than five minutes. We'll let it sit out on the counter until tomorrow, when I'll post the loaf shaping/baking instructions. Ready?

1. Dump 3 cups of all-purpose flour or bread flour in a bowl.

2. Mix one and one-half teaspoons of salt and one package of active dry yeast with one and three-quarter cups of room temperature water. I use kosher salt, but regular or sea salt will work, too.

3. Pour the water/yeast/salt into the bowl.

4. Stir until everything is combined and a dough ball forms and it looks like this:
The consistency of the dough ball at this stage is important - you don't want it to be too watery. See that wooden spoon in the photo above? It's standing up all by itself. The first time I made this bread, I used all-purpose flour and the dough didn't form a ball. So if your dough isn't firm enough, just add a little more flour.

5. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let it sit out on the counter for 18-24 hours. It will patiently wait there until you're ready to bake it.

That's it! We're done for today. I told you it was easy.

Smooch: Why is there a bowl of dough on the floor?
Me: The light's better down there.

Here's my bowl of dough sitting on the counter. (There's no need to put a towel over the plastic wrap but I wanted to show off this badass flour sack towel I received. Thank you, Justina!)

Now go forth and make your bread dough. If you run into any problems or have any questions, shout them out in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them, expert bread baker that I am...NOT! My only credentials are that I've made this recipe five times and it's worked every time. And I won the Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow award when I was a senior in high school. 37 years ago.

Bermtopia posted the original recipe for this bread on Tasty Kitchen. I modified it slightly because I couldn't find "instant yeast" at the Walmart.


  1. Looks easy enough and I now realize that with all my interruptions yesterday I totally messed up the recipe, BUT the end result was good. I will try it again. Thanks for the pictures - I'm anxious for tomorrows post.

    LOVE the badass flour sack towel!

  2. Interesting...

    I've been making this recipe since you tweeted about it. The recipe "says" 1/4 tsp yeast which is not a lot and most of the artisan bread, high moisture recipes call for more, but I've been using the 1/4 tsp...I buy yeast in bulk, not packets. And I do use instant yeast (King Arthur online)

    And, I never add more flour or do the spoon stand up thing. It IS a very moist dough and supposed to be. Will be interested to see how yours looks tomorrow comparatively :)! Mine have all worked every time as well.

    I've passed the link on to 2 others - both experienced yeast bread bakers as I am and I said to both: "You have to forget everything you know about yeast dough with this one".

  3. I had to look twice to make sure I wasn't at the Pioneer Woman Site.
    I am going to try this. It is similar to one I have but not the 18 hour part. This may be the Thanksgiving Day bread.
    I like it when people talk plain and easy. "Dump the flour" none of this " you place the flour in a bowl."

  4. I would have that flour sack mounted, framed and hung up in the living room!
    does smooch get to have a taste of the bread?
    Theresa in ALberta

  5. I'm in! Going to mix up my dough this morning before I head off.

    Of course, my hubs left this morning for a work trip so it's just me and all that bread.

    I may have to share with the barn owner. He could use some fattening up!

  6. I'll be right with you after I go get some yeast!

  7. Hi Linda ~ Love the simple directions, my kind of recipe. Heading into the kitchen to mix up my dough.

  8. Do you adjust for high altitude? I live at 7000 feet.

  9. On one hand I would never have guessed that you won the Homemaker award - and on the other, it makes perfect sense. Bet they never thought you'd turn that into ranching with donkeys!! :)

  10. FV, the high altitude adjustment comes tomorrow - those of us living in the clouds will bake it with our ovens set 25 degrees lower than everybody else.

  11. I'm ready and will do my mixing this afternoon/evening. This is cool!

  12. I love this bread. I love your style of measuring, me too. I will make the bread again and keep it away from the grandkids this time long enough to take a picture of it. "If you bake it they will come". The last loaf was gone in less than 4 hours. I'm just saying. GOOD BREAD ;-)

  13. *snerk* "Badass flour sack towel" *snerk* Indeed.

    I will be making some bread of some sort this weekend, I think. It has finally cooled off enough to think about doing that without broiling myself.

  14. Dang! I knew I forgot something - the yeast! I'll have to do mine tonight. Thanks for the recipe.

  15. Okay, I'm gonna try this bread. It will probably scare my family into thinking my body has been inhabited by aliens from outerspace, but I'm gonna do it anyway...maybe I'll serve it with my butternut squash soup... when I finally work up the nerve to try that again.

  16. Linda,
    I made this bread last weekend after your post last week. My family loved the bread. It's more of a ciabatta texture. Moist and crusty. I'll be making this again and look forward to your next bread recipe. Love your blog.

  17. Well that didn't hurt at all! Made my batch in 5 minutes and told my husband don't touch it and don't put it in the fridge. I love artisan bread, can't wait to bake it tomorrow.

  18. I finally caught up with you all! Spent the day waiting for a contractor who never showed, dopey me! Then I found some up-to-date yeast in my cupboard so here I am. I had to add A LOT more flour to the mix to get the consistency right but now my dough is at the waiting patiently stage. EASY!

  19. Sorry, I'm not making the bread today, but will do so this weekend!!!! I had to take my elderly mother to the city for doctor appmt and back home to the country this afternoon.......174 miles....

    I've just watched your boys' namesakes Alan & George sing on CMA tonight. Sigh....Like! Like!

  20. Oh, I forgot to mention that I won the Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow award in high school also! I have the pin to prove it.
    Still thinking of Alan & George :)

  21. Great information here! I enjoy reading your posts.

  22. Hey hon I think I know what went wrong. Salt "retards" yeast you should let the yeast set for a bit till a off white foam appears a sprinkle of sugar helps this along. After you have the foam add the salt it will slow down the fermentation. (do not do the yeast mix in a metal bowl or with metal utensils not sure why but it stops the process. Hope it helps :)