11/23/19

From my Instagram Today - Artisan Bread









If you follow me on Instagram then you may have seen this (below) photo posted today.  


 I've been battling what seems to be 3 different back-to-back colds for over a month now (the first wasn't a big deal, mostly just a cough, the second one following it was a little worse and then my husband returned from a business trip with a whopper of a nasty cold and was more than happy to share it with me... ha ha) so in regards to our normal low carb keto way of eating?  Nope.  We still mostly do low carb and of course, sugar free (always sugar free) but the carbs have been more Atkins maintenance than anything else. 

However, this cold coupled with the rainy, wet, dreary and gray last few days has me just wanting homemade bread.  Although I could easily make one of my regular bread recipes or even just make my 'classic' easy bread dough in the bread machine with no work on my part (all those recipes are posted numerous times already on An American Housewife - just use the search engine) I really wanted a thick, chewy, artisan bread.  The kind with a chewy, crunchy crust, but a thick, chewy center to either slather with butter and eat hot, toast under the broiler for a couple minutes or use to dip into a thick, rich, hot soup for dinner.

That kind of bread.

But I still needed it to be rather easy and no work because this cold has my head killing me with a massive headache, a hacking cough and I'm just so so so worn out I don't have the energy to babysit a dough.  

With that in mind, I turned to one of my favorite recipes that I don't get to make often since we normally are eating low carb or keto.   
This artisan bread recipe I've posted a couple times before, that uses just a couple ingredients, you mix, but don't knead, toss into a bucket or bowl with a lid and forget about for a couple hours.  Then you take it out, cut some off to use, form a round, let it sit there for 40 minutes and bake in a hot oven with some steam to form the chewy crust.  (The part I'm craving!).
I'm just going to cut and paste the recipe from a previous posting but I'm going to add a note here.  The recipe as original is not necessarily a tasty sweet bread or even as sweet as you might be used to because it uses zero sugar. Yep, zero.  Not even to feed the yeast.  So I add some sugar-free honey to my water/yeast/salt mixture just to give it a little bit of flavor.  

This bread also don't save well for a 2nd or 3rd day (I personally don't think) but the cool thing about this recipe is that you can pop your bucket or bowl into the refrigerator after the initial 2 hour raising/falling and use it over the next 10-14 days.  You can get about 4 - 1 lb. loaves from it. Just reach in, cut off a piece of dough, toss it on a floured surface and form a round, let it rest 40 minutes and bake.  So you can be making fresh rounds from it from the refrigerator and don't have to worry about leftover bread.


Artisan Bread

1 ½ T yeast
1 ½ T salt
3 c water, lukewarm
6 ½ c flour
cornmeal
flour
Baking/Pizza Stone

Dump yeast, salt and water into a large bowl, bucket or container.
Add flour.
Mix with a wooden spoon just until the flour is incorporated. No dry flour, no lumps.
Put a loose lid on or cover loosely with plastic wrap. Not air tight.  Let set at room temperature about 2 hours.
Sprinkle bit of flour so your fingers don’t stick. Cut off grapefruit sized piece with serrated knife.
Work in your hands to make a ball, pulling top layer to bottom.  Round and smooth.
Place on cornmeal sprinkled board.
Let set 40 minutes.
Sprinkle with flour, slash the loaf with a few slices.
Bake at 375 preheated oven with an empty pan in the bottom.
Slide on middle shelf baking stone.
Pour a cup of water in the hot empty pan and close door quickly to steam the bread.
Baked till top is golden brown - about 20-25 minutes.
Hard crust and moist, soft bread!

NOTE:  This bread is best served fresh.
I like it warm and eaten the first day.
I personally don't think it 'saves' well the second or third day because the texture changes.
I'd use it for croutons, cube & save for Thanksgiving stuffing, or process for bread crumbs and freeze any leftovers after the 2nd day. That's just my personal opinion though.

Mix it with a wooden spoon

Let it rise and do it's thing

It's ready!

Pull it out and prepare your bread rounds

Small or large - it's up to you! Just chop or pull some dough and form. No kneading.

Ready for the oven!

Crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside. Love this bread with soup!




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