Thursday, January 13, 2011

The lazy man's(woman's) bread part 1: the dough

Artisan bread it is rightly named I think.  But working with this art form you will never be a starving artist.  Art is interpretive and the artist is in complete control.  There is no right or wrong way and if you use the correct mediums it is hard to go wrong.  I am going to post on this as a series.  First post will be the medium(the dough)The following posts will come over the next two weeks(the lifespan of the dough) I will post all the great, artistic and tastey treats that one can create with this one simple medium.  It is easy, versitile, delicious and I hope to show you just how easy it is to have this bread at your disposal at all times.

All you need is:

A non air tight container
3 C luke warm water
1 1/2 T Kosher salt
1 1/2 T yeast
6 1/2 C flour
First pour water into your container.  Add salt and yeast.  Next add all flour and mix until all flour is throughly incorperated
And if you are anything like me when you need flour you just dip into your trusty 50lb bag from the Amish bulk store.

I start with a wooden spoon but toward the end it helps to wet your hands and and get a little messy.

And when you are done you might look something like this.  Don't worry God made you washable.

Then you find a spot that it can do all the work for you for the next 2 hours.  Place the lid on and....

Then you teach your daughter about place value.

Walk past and say "Hi laundry waiting to be folded.  When will fold yourself?"

On your way to play barbies.

Then read a good blog.

And about 2 hours later your "medium" should look about 2 x's bigger than it did before.

Last you place your NON air tight lid on and find it a nice spot in your fridge that it can stay for the next two weeks.  Or if you are a simple carbohydrate junkie or a bakaholic you could do it all in one day.

Amy's artisan tips:  I have baked literally hundreds of loaves of this bread in many different forms.  A few things I have learned along the way.  It is easiest to handle after refridgeration for at least a few hours if not over night.  Your dough will seem wet for bread dough.  That is the way it is supposed to be.  I always double the recipe(that is what you see in the pictures).  When counting out 6 1/2 or 13 cups of flour count out loud.  You may seem silly to everyone in your house but it is way better than loosing count.  You can use any container you have around the house.  If it is an air tight container you can leave the lid cracked or use a nail and poke a hole in the top.  Lastly I like to use a square container it fits snug in the corner of the fridge and you can easily stack things on it.  Because if you are anything like me space is not something you have in excess in the fridge.


  1. Thanks for posting this, I think I'm going to try this today! I have never made bread beyond using my bread machine, which is now broken:(
    So after the two hours of rising if I want to bake it right away, do I flour a bread pan and throw it for an hour? Total bread making idiot here!
    Is your daughter getting place value? I love Roda and Staff's method for teaching; the ones is a sheep, the tens a pig, the hundreds a horse. The farmer always feeds the sheep first, if there's left over (as in a double digit number) then the pig gets fed, and then the horse if it's 3 digits. G picked up on this really fast with this method. I've also used it for adding; 34 plus 36; kick the pig over the other pig when 4 plus 6 equals 10. That's how a red neck teaches math:)

  2. Sorry I just saw this. I hope you didn't try it today and I messed it up. I will do my best to throw a post together about baking it. I was going to do it as a series because there are so many different ways to bake it. But in a loaf pan is not one of the ways. That what makes it artisan because it is free formed. My first post was going to be about focciaca bread. Which we use to make pizzas on. I feel bad that I am holding you up from trying it :( sorry.

  3. no problem Amy:) I just threw it in a pie dish and let it bake lol. I realized my yeast was inactive so it didn't rise but the boys thought it was great anyway.
    I look forward to your bread posts:)

  4. might have to try this, as I am working half days until Tax season is over... do part now and part later...

  5. I really like this series on bread. I make a lot of bread as well but its always the whole deal on one day which can be time consuming. I like the idea of having a batch of dough in the refrigerator ready to go!

  6. You will love it! The convenience is wonderful and what can compare to homemade bread!


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