Artisan Bread (Homemade)
- 3-1/3 Cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (~17 oz)
- 1/4 Tsp Instant Yeast
- 1-1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1-1/2 Cups Room Temperature Water
- In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix until the dough is combined and has a shaggy, sticky texture (it's easiest to just get in there with your hands and do the job).
- Cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 12-18 hours. It will get puffy and bubble.
- Scrape down the sides of the dough and let it gentle deflate. Turn it out onto a lightly greased piece of parchment paper and using your hands (lightly grease them if the dough is sticking too much) pat it into a thick oblong shape.
- Fold one of the long edges to the middle. Fold the other long edge over the top, forming a thick log. Take one short end and fold it in toward the middle and repeat with the other short end - basically like folding up a blanket or towel.
- Carefully and quickly flip the mound of dough over so the seams are on the bottom. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise until puffy and doubled, about 2 hours.
- About 30-45 minutes before the dough is ready, heat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a 6- to 8-quart heavy cast iron pot (like the popular enamel covered ones) in the oven as it heats and let it stay there for 30-45 minutes.
- When the dough is ready, remove the pot from the oven and take off the lid. Lift up the corners of the parchment paper and set the bread and parchment paper right into the pot. Cover with the lid and return to the oven to bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid from the pot and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the top of the loaf is browned and lovely.
- Carefully grab the corners of the parchment paper and remove the bread to a wire rack to cool completely.
Mel's Kitchen Cafe