08 June 2015

Easy, Homemade Artisan Bread...only 4 ingredients!

I like my carbs, but honestly who the heck doesn't?! I thought I was a master at the Atkins diet during college, and then I started working in the bakery at a local Panera. I was toast. Since my days of being known as the "bakery princess" at work, I have developed a taste for a good, hearty bread. And none of that white, processed Wonder crap. I'm talking good bread, the kind served at fancy Italian restaurants with oil to dip it in. Oh yeah. It really is that good.
Go on, scroll down to see what's in this deliciousness.

Since we started to get our financial act together, I have been eagerly reading and researching ways to stretch our money and minimize excess in our apartment. One way is by evaluating products we buy to see if any easier homemade version can help our monthly food budget. A really good friend has recently peeked my interest in baking homemade bread. So when she let me borrow this book, it opened my eyes to see HOW easy it is to bake tasty, non-processed bread in our home.

The book features ALL kinds of bread, but all with the same basic ingredients (salt, yeast, flour, and water). This particular recipe is for a light, whole wheat bread, but in this book are all kinds of bread recipes from pizza dough to French baguettes.

3 cups of lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

What To Do
1// Mix the yeast and salt with the water in 5-quart bowl.

2// Mix in the remaining dry ingredients using a spoon. Do not knead, but you may need to use your hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.

3// Cover (not airtight) with foil, and allow dough to rise at room temperature for two hours.

4// The dough can be used immediately or stored in your fridge for up 14 days. The dough is easier to handle after it has been chilled for awhile.

5// On baking day: Dust your hands and surface of the dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece. Dust the dough with more flour and shape into a ball.

6// Preheat the oven to 450. Place an empty broiler tray (or we used a cake pan) on the very bottom oven shelf so it will not interfere with the bread.

7// Sprinkle flour on baking pan and place loaf on baking pan. Sprinkle loaf with flour and score the loaf.

8// Place pan in the oven. Add cup of hot tap water to the broiler tray and close the oven door. Bake for about 35 minutes.

9// Allow to cool before slicing and eating

Thick, crusty bread hot from your own oven. And any time you want some fresh bread throughout the week, just slice off another hunk of dough waiting in your fridge!

Are any of you into baking? What are some of your favorite recipes? I love new tasty ideas to try!

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