I know ... a little dramatic, right? Truth be told, this bread has changed my life for the better. I can make it and bake all week, my husband doesn't have to stop on his way home from work to get bread (code: spend way more than he should and be late) and I know exactly what is going into it. Did I mention the cost? Under a $1 a loaf. AMAZING!
I noticed a few "pins" on pinterest for Artisan Bread. I thought, how hard can this be? So after researching a few sites and perfecting a bread that suits our tastes, this is what I have come up with:
1 pack of Fleishmann's Active Dry Yeast
Salt & Garlic Salt
6 cups of unbleached flour (you can substitute with whole wheat, for taste)
3 cups luke warm water
A stand up mixer & bread paddle attachment (optional)
1. Start by heating and measuring 3 cups of warm water. I run the faucet until the H2O is hot to the touch (appr. 100-115 degrees). Place that in your mixer or large mixing bowl. Then add 1 packet of yeast or 1.5 tsp. Let that sit for 2 minutes and stir for 10 seconds.
2. Add 6 cups of flour. 2 tsp. of salt (table or kosher) and 1 tsp. of garlic salt
3. Mix that until completely combined. The dough is a wet/sticky dough. When handling/transferring, you can coat your spoon or fingers for better handling. If you have a bread bucket, use that. I have been using a VERY large pasta bowl with saran wrap and it works fine. Place your dough in your bowl, put it in the fridge and let it rise for at least 3 hours.
4. When you are ready to bake, generously coat the top of the risen dough and cut a section out. Continue coating your dough as your form your shape, but do not knead it. Just wrap the dough around the bottom, for desired shape. Place on a stone or non stick cooking sheet. Let rise at room temperature for 30 min. Using a sharp knife, cut 2 or 3 marks in the top of the bread, to let the heat release while cooking.
5. Preheat your oven to 410 degrees and cook for 30 minutes.
You have to fight the urge not to dig into it immediately. Wait until it has cooled a bit (appr. 30 minutes). It will be easier to cut into (with a serrated knife) and the center is VERY HOT for a while. Save remaining dough for up to 10 days in the fridge.