Over the past several weeks, I have been trying different recipes for 'artisan bread'. These loaves of bread are more rustic in texture and have fabulous flavour. The crust is crunchy with tender soft centres. Some recipes take 12 to 18 hours before baking. This particular recipe from Lynn only takes about 1- 1/2 to 2 hours before you bake it. You can vary the flavours by adding garlic, Italian herbs or Parmesan cheese. With two recipes, I made a plain loaf and one seasoned with garlic and Italian herb seasoning. Both were much enjoyed. I hope you try this bread too. Thanks Lynn for sharing.
INGREDIENTS: for one loaf:
4 cups unbleached bread flour, divided
2 tsp. instant breadmachine yeast
2 tsp. salt
2 cups warm water
Add in 1- 1/2 tsp. rubbed Italian herb seasoning
1 tsp. granulated garlic powder
-Spray a bundt pan or large loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside for now.
-In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of the unbleached bread flour with the salt.
-Stir in the instant yeast, mixing to blend well.
-Pour in the warm water and stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed.
-Now add in the remaining 2 cups of bread flour and stir with the wooden spoon until all of the flour is incorporated into the bread dough.
-Using a plastic scraper, scrape out the bread dough from the bowl into the pre-greased bundt or loaf pan. Pat in to smooth the top of the bread.
-Be sure to use a pan large enough to hold the dough as it will rise to more than double in volume.
-Cover the bread dough in the pan with a dry tea towel and set this aside in a warm place for up to 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in volume. (My bread took only 1- 1/2 hours to rise before I baked it.)
-Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F. when the bread has risen sufficiently.
-Bake the loaf of bread for 40 minutes. Once baked, I brushed the top of the bread with a bit of melted butter. ENJOY!