Recipe – Artisan Bread

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I learned to make bread in high school but really had honed my skills over the past few years. I have written about bread, and shared a sandwich bread recipe: Homemade White Bread Recipe – Tastes Nothing Like Store Bought

But I’ll be honest, I don’t often make this white sandwich bread. I prefer the denser, artisan-style bread you find in Europe, farmer’s markets, and fancy restaurants. Rosemary ciabatta anyone? This recipe I have been making for years now.

Reading the book: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. I learned a new and easy way to make bread, with a simple easy to remember recipe. When I first read their book, they touted their easy to remember method. “Just remember 6-3-3-13 and you’ll impress your friends.”

I scoffed, I won’t remember that. But I did. I still do and have used it to make homemade bread at other people’s homes without looking up the recipe. Spice it how you like, use what you have already, and make amazing bread you won’t want to share. 

The Bread Recipe

6 cups of flour

3 tbsp salt

3 tbsp yeast

13 cups very warm water

Directions

#1 Pre-heat the Bowl

A small step I don’t skip. Particularly for metal and glass bowls, often times the bowl is cold. When you put your very warm water into a cold bowl, it’s not very warm anymore. Yeast like the water very warm, so I first run the bowl under hot water to warm the bowl first. Then I move on to making the bread.

#2 Mix Yeast, Salt and Water (+ spices, seed, nuts)

Add the very warm water, yeast, and salt to your stand mixer. You can mix by hand, and I did for a number of years. Or you can use a stand mixer with the bread hooks.

This is also the time to add any spices, seeds, or nuts you want into the mixer. Adding them during the liquid start ensuring they are evenly mixed throughout the dough.

#3 Gradually add the Flour

Slowly, cup by cup, add the flour and grains you want. This can be a blend of flours. I often blend oatmeal, whole wheat, and white flour together. Simply switch off between cups of different flours. No need to pre-mix the flours before you add them to the dough.

#4 Rise 1 Hour

In a warm place, let your dough rise for one hour. This hour to rise is the first rise, and cannot be skipped. The dough should double in size during this time, but don’t be concerned if it doesn’t. This type of bread often experiences, “oven spring” in which it does most of it’s rising in the oven.

#5 Bake or Store in Refrigerator

Bake at 425 for 30minutes or store in the refrigerator for a week or so.

If you store in the fridge:

When you are ready to bake, grab a hunk with floured hands and quickly form it into your loaf shape. Let it rise for a little bit on the cookie sheet while the oven is preheating. Bake at 425 for 30minutes.

The longer you store it in the fridge, the more it will ferment and become sourdough. Smell the dough each day until it is to your desired sour level, this may take some trial and error to determine how many days of fermentation you like the best. Just means you have to eat more bread!

#6 Enjoy Fresh Artisan Bread

Enjoy your fresh artisan bread with Cranberry-Strawberry Jam, or butter or just all by itself.

Quinoa bread with Pumpkin Seeds

Variations

One thing I found was that you can vary the flour, add spices, nuts, and specialty grains. Some flours/grains absorb more or less water so you may have to tinker slightly but generally not by much. Consider the grains, beans, nuts, and flours you have.

There are many variations in their book: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.

My favorite Variations:

  • wheat flour
  • oatmeal
  • cooked barley or quinoa
  • garlic + rosemary

Other options:

  • Nuts + Seeds
  • Sprouted grains (How to)
  • Spices
    • Italian herbs, garlic, cinnamon, red chili flakes, etc
  • Flours
    • Rye, almond flour, coconut flour, etc
  • Add-ons
    • Honey, molasses
Artisan Bread at Home: 4 loaves

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of flour
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 3 tbsp yeast
  • 13 cups very warm water

Directions:

  1. Preheat the bowl to avoid cooling the water on contact. Run the bowl under hot water to bring it up to temperature.
  2. Using a stand mixer with bread hooks or by hand. Mix the water, salt, yeast. Add any spices, nuts or seed you would like at this time.
  3. Gradually, cup by cup, mix in the flour.
  4. Rise 1 hour in a warm place.
  5. Form the dough into a free-form loaf or put it in a floured loaf pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 425 or store in the refrigerator for a week.
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NANCY WILLIAMS
With more than 10.000 recipes under her belt, no wonder Nancy is the content manager of The Prepper's Daily Food topic. She embarked long ago on a mission to learn everything there is to know about cooking. She discovered her passion for cooking while spending the summer's over at her grandparents. Their ways fascinated Nancy and cooking something out of nothing, like her granny use to say, became one of her daily routines. After 21 years of culinary experience, she decided to drop her fancy chef career life. The price her family had to pay was too big. Nancy is now taking advantage of the internet and works from home, helping and teaching common people like us to cook for ourselves with as little we have. Just like she learned from her grandparents. I want those who cannot afford to eat out not even once a week, to feel they don't need to. Because they can make one of my quick recipes and feel better about their lives, even if only for some hours. From simple recipes to ancient remedies based on plants, from the garden to the kitchen table, canning and storing, Nancy covers it all.

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