Crusty Homemade Bread (Artisan Type)
This has become my favorite bread recipe. Love it!!! Hope you try and enjoy as well.
How to Make Crusty Homemade Bread (Artisan Type)
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. In a large bowl, mix 3 1/2 cups flour and salt. Using a rubber spatula, add yeast mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until smooth (dough will be sticky). (At times I have had to add up to 1/2 cup more, until it is the right consistency.) Do not knead. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise at room temperature 1 hour.
- Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Pat into a 9-inch square. Fold dough into thirds, forming a 9x3-inch rectangle. Fold rectangle into thirds, forming a 3-inch square. Turn dough over and place in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise at room temperature until almost doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch down dough and repeat folding process. Return dough to bowl; refrigerate, covered, overnight or for at least 4 hours.
- Place in prepared pan; dust top with 1 tablespoon of flour. Cover pan with plastic wrap; let rise at room temperature until dough expands in size to a 7 1/2 inch loaf, about 1 1/4 hours.
- Note: At step 4, you can make this a Cheddar Cheese Bread by adding 4 oz. diced cheddar cheese. You could also make this a Rustic Cranberry & Orange Bread by adding 1 cup dried cranberries and 4 tsp. grated orange peel.
I have made this with cheddar, mozzarella, and the cranberries and orange. We have loved all variations.