The Amateur Baker's Artisan Bread

I ENJOY cooking. I LOVE finding new recipes to try on pinterest [follow me HERE]. I love bumping into my honey in the kitchen and being goofy while we food prep or cook together. Despite all of these statements, I am an AMATEUR when it comes to baking. This reason is two fold: 1)Baking requires exact measurements in the beginning- I am and "eye baller" and timer-by-memory type person 2)Baking is WAY too scientific..  I mean, baking soda and baking powder aren't the same thing? That's just ASKING for a recipe mess-up.

So now you know how I feel about basically all pastries. Let me share with you a recipe I can ACTUALLY handle though. I'm sure all of my other no bake wonders will be happy to have this.

I got this recipe for Artisan Bread from my friend Sarah at a recently girls only wine tasting evening. This gal is a NATURAL hostess and thought of EVERYTHING.. from recipe cards to ramekins for take home seasonings to bake our bread later, she was prepared to pass on her skills.

[got the recipe this night!]

I had NO idea that this bread recipe was so versatile! It is a beautiful (& delicious) blank canvas that allows you to be a little creative.. you pick. Maybe you want to mix minced apples into the bread dough and sprinkle with cinnamon. Or maybe you want to infuse the bread dough with garlic and sprinkle rosemary on top! The list goes ON and ON.

Without further adieu, here is Miss Sarah's recipe:

3 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 cup 10 grain cereal
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 1/2 cups unbleached white flour

1) In a large mixing bowl, use a wooden spoon to combine water, salt and yeast. Let the mixture sit a few minutes until it looks "creamy.." although, there will probably be some clumps.

2) Stir in the cereal, whole wheat flour, and unbleached white four. * Mix the ingredients together until the dough is wet and sticky. Do not over mix or knead.

3) Loosely cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 2 hours.

4) Bake at 450 with a pan filled with water below.

~For Ciabatta: Do NOT refrigerate the dough. Form a flat round loaf 1" high and let rise for 40 minutes.  Them brush with water** and bake on a tray lined with parchment paper for 15-25 minutes.

~For normal loaves: refrigerate  for at least 2 hours {dough will keep TWO weeks in the fridge). Delicately shape into a loaf (recommended size is a grapefruit). Let rise for 40 minutes. Rush with water**, slice top 1/2" deep with wet knife and bake on a try lined with parchment paper (I used my pampered cheft stone!!!). Bake 30 minutes for larger loaves; 15 minutes for smaller ones.

*Mix in extra ingredients at this point (herbs, friend fruit, etc).
** Sprinkle desired seasonings now (hers, pumping seeds, etc).

FYI this dough keeps for up to TWO weeks in the fridge:: I baked 4 mini loves tonight after it saw in my fridge for 9 days!!!

Give it a whirl and let me know how it goes-- happy baking!

XO, linz

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