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Artisan Bread
  • 1½ T yeast
  • 1½ T coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
  • 3 c water
  • 6 1/2 c unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough
  • *you can replace about 1 to 1 1/2 of white flour with any whole grain flour cornmeal

1. In a large bowl, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups warm water. Add flour, and stir to combine completely. Let dough rise in a warm place for at least two hours, until it rises and collapses (up to 5 hours – or even overnight won’t hurt it). The dough may be baked at this point, or refrigerated for later use.

2. Cover dough, but make sure it is not airtight, gases need to escape, and place in fridge. When you are ready to use it, throw a small fistful of flour on the surface. Use a serrated knife to cut off a grapefruit-sized piece of dough. Turning the dough in your hands, stretch the surface of the dough and tuck in under. The surface will be smooth, and the bottom with be bunched.

3. Dust a pizza peel (or any flat surface with cornmeal. This prevents sticking, and adds a nice, rustic crunch. Allow dough to rest in a warm place for 40 minutes or longer (up to an hour and a half) if you use some whole wheat flour in place of the white, or if you make a larger loaf.

4. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450 degrees, with baking stone on the middle rack and a shallow pan on the top rack. Sprinkle flour over the dough, slash it 2-4 times with a serrated knife (ie. in a cross or a tic-tac-toe) and slide it into the oven, onto the baking stone. Throw 1-2 cups of tap water into the shallow pan, and quickly shut the oven door to trap steam inside. Bake for 30 minutes, or until crust is well browned.

Adapted from ”Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François