Today marks the beginning of a new chapter, and I could not be more excited to share it with you. Not only am I launching a brand new recipe section here on Joyfully Rooted, but I am also pairing up with someone very special to me. My mom, Susan (aka, Heart) will begin guest hosting here on my blog once a month, sharing recipes and stories that are full of our family’s heritage. You can read more about how this new journey got started, HERE. Her August recipe, Simple Artisan Bread, is an easy, homemade bread recipe that is sure to please.
A Kitchen with Heart: Simple Artisan Bread By: Susan Webster
For as far back as I can remember our family would sit down to a delicious dinner together, always with bread on the table. A thankful blessing was sure to be included and our faith was certainly discussed but there was always bread. It may have been “Wonder” bread but there was bread. At times Mother, who was a great cook, would make her delicious homemade bread and it was always a special treat for our family. We would enjoy it slathered with butter and sometimes fresh fruit jam given to us by church members. In those days, (I’m a child of the 60’s) we didn’t worry so much about fats and carbs and things we stress about today.
Our family’s love for good bread goes back to my maternal grandmother. Vivian Fisher was a strong pioneer lady born in 1900 who settled on a farm in South Dakota. As a young woman she went to a christian college in Kansas and worked a part time job baking bread for extra money. A few years later, as a young mother of five, she would get up every morning and bake 5 loaves of bread for her family. My Mother, Joyce Banning would recall that their afterschool snack would consist of bread and homemade jam. Money and food were scarce but Grandma Fisher’s bread was delicious and filling for the tummies of her growing family during The Great Depression.
I also love to make bread but don’t always want to take the time to let the dough rise, then rest, then rise again etc. So when I found this recipe for Artisan bread a number of years ago I knew it was a great fit. I mix the 3 dry ingredients (YES, only three) at night with a little warm water, place a kitchen towel over the bowl and bake in the morning. It is as simple as that! You will have bread so amazing that some will question the fact that you actually made it. Not only is it beautiful but it is delicious. I have used this recipe for centerpieces, soup bowls, dip bowls, and my favorite…slice, slather, and enjoy!
- 3 cups of bread flour (or all purpose)
- 1 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon Rapid Rise (instant) yeast
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- Dutch oven or La Cloche
- cornmeal for dusting La Cloche
- Mix dry ingredients, add water and mix all together.
- Allow to sit overnight on the counter 12-18 hours with a covered towel.
- Set oven to 450 degrees.
- Place top of the La Cloche in the oven and allow to heat gradually and remain in 450 degree oven for 30 minutes.
- While the La Cloche is warming get dough ready. I simply turn it out onto a lightly floured counter and knead for about 3 minutes. Add a few tablespoons (2 to 3) of flour until dough is smooth and not sticky.
- After kneading give it two cuts on the diagonal (not all the way through) with a sharp knife for decoration.
- Add a little more flour to the top cuts. This gives it a rustic finish.
- Place loaf on the bottom portion of the La Cloche that has been sprinkled with cornmeal.
- When the top portion of La Cloche has finished warming, (30 minutes) carefully take out of oven. Place the bottom portion of the La Cloche in the 450 degree oven and place the preheated cover over the loaf and bake for 25 minutes.
- Carefully remove cover and bake bread an additional 10-12 minutes until loaf has reached desired crispness and golden brown color.
- Remove from oven and place loaf onto a rack to cool.
- *If using a Dutch oven use the same recipe and allow the entire Dutch Oven to warm in a preheated 450 degree oven for 30 minutes. Afterwards, take out of the oven and place the bread dough into the preheated Dutch Oven (no cornmeal needed) and bake covered for 25 minutes. Remove top and bake an additional 10-12 minutes until loaf has reached desired crispness and golden color. Remove from oven and place loaf onto a rack to cool.
I have always used a Dutch Oven for this simple artisan bread recipe (worth the investment at TJ Maxx, Marshalls etc. for the off-brands, or get a Le Creuset if you want to go fancy (HERE). I bought an off-brand Dutch oven from Amazon (HERE) and it works perfectly). However, earlier this year my sweetie gave me a La Cloche (HERE) and that is what I used for this recipe. Feel free to use whatever works best for you.
I hope you enjoy the bread…I know you will!!! You will be amazed at how beautiful it is…slice, slather and enjoy!!!
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35
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As always, thank you for taking the time to read along, and today especially, while my mom guest hosted. If you’re interested, please subscribe to the Joyfully Rooted newsletter to get my latests posts in your inbox. My hope is to inspire, tell a story, lend a helpful hand in your home and heart, and bring glory to God in all that I do.