You will be able to make your own artisan bread if you follow these simple step by step procedure of making bread the way I show it here. That is a promise!
(3) Stir to dissolve the sugar and yeast.
(4) While waiting for the yeast to bloom, measure out 3 1/2 cups bread flour into a large mixing bowl.
(5) Add 1-1/2 teaspoon salt, and stir salt into the flour.
(6) Add the fermented yeast plus 3/4 cup water, and stir well to hydrate all the flour.
(7) Scrape the sides of the bowl to get all the dry flour, continue to mix the dough. The dough will be wet and shaggy.
It should not take much effort or time to mix the dough... just about a minute or a minute and a half. I am not "kneading" the dough, I am simply mixing the dough to ensure that all the flour is hydrated with the liquid ingredients.
(8) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or kitchen towel. Leave the bowl with dough to proof in a warm place of your kitchen for 1-1/2 hours to 2-1/2 hours or until the dough doubles its size. I put mine in the oven with the oven light on.
The dough should double in size. This was after 1-1/2 hr and it has doubled in size.
(9) Sprinkle the dough with flour. You can use your hands to do the next step (10) if you prefer. I am using a spatula.
(10) Pull the dough from the sides of the bowl to "degass" the dough. "Fold" the dough over and over and adding flour when needed. The dough will be sticky.
(11) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and let it rest to proof the second time for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven.
(12) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F with an empty dutch oven with lid. I am using an enameled 3 quart dutch oven. Take the pot out of the oven after 15 minutes.
(13) Put the dough inside the pot. You can use your hands to do this. Be careful if you do, the pot will be very hot!
(14) Generously flour the top of the dough. Using a sharp knife, slit the top of the dough. This is optional. It is just to give it a rustic look. Put the lid back on the pot.
(15) Bake at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue baking the bread UNCOVERED for 10 minutes or until the top of the bread has browned.
(16) Take the bread out of the pot to cool.
(17) Cool the bread for 10 minutes before slicing it. This bread was just out of the oven and is super hot. A perfect soft crumb!
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