I just realized that I've never posted the recipe, so here it is!
We used to keep a starter for artisan bread in 5 minutes a day in the fridge at all times, but because you're supposed to take some out and add more every once in a while, and of course, we couldn't waste what we tossed out, we ended up baking (and eating) bread waaay too much (if there is such a thing) and eventually stopped :(
Now we use this recipe instead when we're in the mood for fresh baked bread. It's quick, easy and delicious and we love it. In fact, when we make it, we tend to make several loaves at once, which kind of defeats the purpose of not keeping the old starter because we still end up eating too much bread. Well, at least I get the fridge space back :)
- 3 cups of flour (bread flour is preferable but all-purpose will work too)
- 1 1/2 cups of warm water
- 1/4 tsp yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- At least 8 hours ahead of time, or up to 24 hours in advance, mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl (make sure to leave room for the dough to rise) and cover. Let rise.
- When the dough is ready, it will look very wet and bubbly.
- Gently knead the dough a bit with your hands to punch down some of the bubbles and shape it into a messy ball. You can shape it into a pretty ball if you'd like, but just be sure to slit the top before putting it into the oven.
- To make transferring the dough and clean easy, I like to plop the ball on parchment paper and put it back in the original bowl. Let it rise for an hour or two.
- Preheat the oven and a dutch oven to 450 degrees.
- Carefully transfer the dough into the HOT dutch oven. If you're using parchment paper, you can just place the parchment paper into the pot along with the dough.
- Put the lid on the dutch oven and place it back in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Then remove the lid and bake for another 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the bread and let it cool on a rack.
- Slice and enjoy! Our favorite is to pair it with cheese :)