Look how awesome this loaf of bread looks. Now sit back and ponder the following: I made this loaf. And total working time was about 15 minutes. So easy!
A few tips: don't be alarmed when you make the dough and it looks exceedingly sticky. First of all, it's supposed to be sticky. And second, it's not as sticky as it looks. Though it is sticky enough to make forming a smooth ball a bit tricky, as you can see in the picture below.
Master Artisan Bread Recipe
Recipe by Zoe Francois and Jeff Hertzberg
3 1/2 cups lukewarm water
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 teaspoons coarse salt
7 1/4 cups (2 lbs. 4 oz) unbleached all purpose flour
- Combine water, yeast and salt in a large bowl. With spoon (or mixer with paddle attachment), stir in flour (dough will be wet).
- Place dough in 5-quart lidded container; cover with lid, but do not snap air tight. Let rise at room temperature for 2 hours. Refrigerate overnight or up to 14 days.
1 pound portion of Master Recipe
- Hold dough and dust top with flour, quickly shape into ball by stretching surface of dough around to bottom on all four sides, rotating dough a quarter turn as you go.
- Place dough on a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle liberally with cornmeal. Cover loosely with lightly floured plastic wrap. Let stand in warm draft-free place 1 hour or until dough is slightly puffed and no longer chilled.
- Thirty minutes before baking, place baking stone on center oven rack; place empty broiler pan on bottom oven rack. Heat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Dust loaf with flour. With serrated knife, make 2 or 3 (1/4 inch deep) slashes in top of loaf. Slide loaf (with parchment paper) onto hot baking stone. Immediately pour 1 cup hot water into broiler pan; quickly close oven door to trap steam.
- Bake 30 minutes or until deep golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when tapped on bottom. Cool completely on wire rack.