Artisan Bread – 5 minute recipe

This is the second post in the series “Sugar Wars.” You can read post 1 here

One of the staples of American fare is BREAD. We love bread with everything. We love bread by itself! But, in the midst of our love affair, we might not realize that most varieties we buy in the store, even the healthy whole wheat ones, contain added sugar. Some sugars occur naturally in foods: fructose, lactose, and glucose as carbohydrate. While other sugars are added: sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc., and these are what we have to be careful with.

Orowheat Whole Grain Bread for example has 3 grams of sugar per slice (our daily intake should be limited to 24 grams). The third ingredient is sugar, right after whole wheat, and water. Admittedly, there are bigger fish to fry than sugar in your bread, but it’s an important component to understanding how much added sugars we are consuming – especially in our savory foods. 

About 8 months ago I came across a recipe that has changed my view of bread making AND bread buying. It was a post by Frugal Living called “Amazing No-Knead Bread.” Oh how I love this recipe, let me count the ways:

  1. 5 minutes of work – start to finish.
  2. One loaf costs $0.40 cents to make.
  3. Fresh bread smells AMAZING!
  4. I know exactly what I’m eating: Flour-Water-Salt-Yeast
  5. It looks like this:

IMG_20130817_122331_314

I know…you can hardly wait to make a loaf! So let’s get to it!

I have made a few modifications to the method of preparation that Frugal Living describes in order to match our lifestyle and my love of simplicity.

1. I halve the recipe – this lasts me and my husband about a week. We eat some as a snack, along with meals etc. We rarely eat sandwiches so if you eat those daily, you should make the full recipe. Here are the halved amounts:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups cool water

2. Dump all ingredients into a large bowl and stir until it comes together. It will be sticky.

3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or towel and set near the stove (or the warmest part of your kitchen).

4. Let the dough rise for 12-18 hours. NOTE – I usually mix it up in the evening after work, then put it in the oven the following evening after work. Thus I let it rise for about 24 hours.

5. After your dough has risen for 24 hours, it will be VERY sticky and bubbly. An hour before you want to bake it, sprinkle flour over the top and mold into a smooth ball, and let rise for another hour.

6. Pre-heat oven with heavy bottomed pot (mine is aluminum) in the oven. Plop the ball of dough in the preheated pot, cover and cook for 40 minutes at 425, then uncover and cook for 10 additional minutes at 425.

7. Take out of the oven, marvel at the beautiful thing you’ve just made, and place on a cooling rack.

IMPORTANT: DO NOT slice until it has cooled 100%. Otherwise you will have a dense block of bread and then you will be sad. Very, very sad.

We store ours in a gallon sized zip-lock bag, because we are classy like that.

This is such an easy recipe, much healthier without preservatives, and you can make it anytime you need it.  We’ve completely gone off store-bought bread and I’m quite happy.

I think you will be too.

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4 Comments

Filed under Food & Recipes

4 responses to “Artisan Bread – 5 minute recipe

  1. This is delicious bread. I have only made it once, and I should make it more often, because it is yummy.

  2. Julie M

    Having so much fun reading your blog, Shannon! You are a great writer, and very funny! I hope to make this bread soon. I like that it’s simple!

    • Thanks so much Julie, I’m so glad you like the blog! Let me know what you think of the bread when you try it. I’m sure you’ll love it and feel like a kitchen genius for having made something so incredible!

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