Artisan bread isbest described by thinking about the person who makes the bread. An artisan baker is a craftsperson who is trained to the highest ability to mix, ferment, shape and bake a hand crafted loaf of bread. They understand the science behind the chemical reactions of the ingredients and know how to provide the best environment for the bread to develop. - Artisan Bakers.
Eliza and I have a bread machine but for a while I've had the desire to fool around with making really, really simple bread recipes. The above loaf consists of salt, flour, water and a bit of yeast. Small variations of those ingredients, the amount you knead the dough, and how you bake it - can wholly change the way the final product comes out.
I'm having a lot of fun trying different things (I also made my own tortillas with nearly the same ingredients) and learning a lot as I go. I recommend making homemade bread to anyone that wants to learn about this process. Here is a recipe which I tailored off ofJeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois who have authored a book about making artisan bread in five minutes. I happened upon their recipe via YouTube. Smart strategy.
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast.
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough.
3 1/2 cups of water (about)
Some cornmeal. (optional, you can use flour)
Put yeast and salt into bucket. Dump in lukewarm water. Dump in flour. Mix with wooden spoon until no more dry flour. Do not over mix or knead at all. Let sit in bucket for 2 hours. Rip off grapefruit sized pieces and bend them into a UFO shape (watch this video to see). Place on pizza peel to rest for 40 minutes while the oven preheats to 450. Preheat oven with an empty baking pan under pizza stone on the middle shelf. After dough ball has rested and oven, pizza stone, and baking pan are preheated - place dough ball on center of pizza stone, drop in a few cups of water into baking pan (this will steam to make the crust of the bread) and bake for 30 minutes.
That's it. Give it a try!