The Lazy Girl's Artisan Bread

Prepare to be dazzled.
While the East Coast digs out from yet another epic snowstorm, here I sit in my {grumble grumble} Western ski resort with the windows wide open, peering out on a muddy brown landscape. Ran errands without a jacket earlier this morning. It's all adding up to be a very non-wintery winter. 

Kind of disappointing because I love winter. And, the whole idea of hunkering down, indoors, with a good book, a great movie or marvelous aromas wafting from the kitchen. Just something about a cold, snowy day that inspires a yummy homemade bread.

Been baking this bread for a few months, now - to rave reviews from family and friends - and thought you might like to try it, too. It's a no-fuss process that requires about 3 minutes of your attention.

The Lazy Girl's Artisan Bread

In a large bowl, mix: 
  • 3 cups of bread flour (3 cups of flour = a 1 pound loaf of bread.)
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 + 1/2 cups warm water
* Resist the temptation to add more water; the dough will look a little dry.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, or a lid, of some sort. The cover will trap moisture, inspiring the mixture to work it's magic.

Leave your bowl on the kitchen counter for several hours.
* I combine the ingredients in the morning and bake it for dinner.

If you've been on this blog before, you're probably aware that I never have any of the necessary utensils.
* Saran Wrap works much better than my ill-fitting lid.
* AND, this recipe is ideal for a Le Creuset Dutch Oven ~ should you be so fortunate as to own one. I use my Lodge Dutch Oven.

Don't be as lazy as me. Go buy some Saran Wrap. :)
Bake that Lovely Loaf:
  • Preheat the oven to a whopping 450 degrees.  
  • Put your empty dutch oven pan in the oven while it preheats. Yup. It's gonna be really hot.
Put a cup of bread flour on your bread board. Pour your precious dough out onto the bread board and work a wee bit more flour into it. Don't spend more than a minute on this process. And, don't worry that your bread isn't rising.

* I use a cooking spray on my Lodge Dutch Oven - you may not need to for the Le Creuset.

Once the oven is preheated, place your dough in the very hot dutch oven and, put the lid on it.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Take the lid off and bake for 15-30 minutes more. Until it's a scrumptious golden brown.
  • Once the lid is off, I spray the loaf with an olive oil cooking spray to make it super crusty.  You could opt for an egg white/water wash, if you prefer.
Re-blooming African Violets
A most amazing artisan bread that rivals anything you could purchase at a bakery. It requires very little work -- other than the fact that you'll have to bake one every other day. It's so yummy it disappears quite quickly. :)

PS: This has been adapted from the no-knead bread recipes that have been flitting about the internet.

PPS: Pray for snow.

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