How can I not share this recipe that has brought new light into my life? This recipe is fabulous--so fast, easy and non-fussy. My sister-in-law who sent the recipe to me said it would change my life...and it has! Just start it in the morning when the kids leave for school and then finish it up when they get home -- super easy.
Artisan Crusty Bread
3 c. warm water
1 1/2 T yeast
1 1/2 T kosher salt or 1 T iodized
6 c. flour or 5 1/2 cup whole wheat
(optional: add garlic, rosemary, basil, etc...)
Mix yeast, salt and water (and any of the optional items) in large bowl. (Like popcorn size bowl.) Stir in flour, mixing until no dry patches remain. Dough will be very loose and sticky. Cover and let rise 2-5 hours (I think the longer the better).
Dust a pan or cookie sheet with cornmeal, maybe 1/3 cup. Sprinkle dough with flour and pull off grapefruit size pieces of dough. Turn into a ball using additional flour on your hands as needed to shape 4-5loaves. (Remember this dough is ultra sticky so I justify the oddly shaped loaves as being rustic and artisan.) Let rest on pan for 40 minutes.
Heat oven to 450 degrees and place an empty pan such as an old muffin tin or bread pan on the bottom rack while heating. Dust loaves with flour and slash tops with a knife three times or if you are up to it in beautiful ornate patterns. Pour one cup of water in empty pan in oven and place loaves in oven. Quickly close oven door to prevent escaping steam. Bake for 30 minutes. (I know, seems like a long time at that high of heat but don't scrimp on time or you'll loose all the yummy crusty goodness! And don't peek by opening the oven door either. Tempting, but you'll loose the steam. Must. Keep. Steam.)
You can also keep the dough covered in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Let rest on cornmeal for an extra hour before baking.
Gotta brag about my husband...
who put in a new radiator today all by himself AND it seems to be working AND he didn't have to buy any new tools to do it AND it only took half of the day AND it had been since high school (folks, that's like over 20 years ago) since he had last put in a radiator.