Homemade Artisan Bread that Doesn't Suck

I love bread. I could eat a nice loaf of french bread in a sitting (my waistline doesn't appreciate it). And while we had a great place to get great bread in Charlottesville called Albemarle Baking Company that didn't use any corn ingredients, we have yet to find a place like that here.

In fact, it's been a challenge finding bread at all. The ONLY bread at Whole Foods that didn't have a corn ingredient was in the freezer section, which meant we wouldn't have that soft, fluffy bread.

And then they stopped carrying it last week.

What were we supposed to do without bread? What would Ryan eat for breakfast? What would be a quick and easy lunch substitute for sandwiches? What would we take with us to eat with cheese and fruit on the beach?

I'm a pretty good baker, but we've never tried making THAT kind of bread. I make a mean pumpkin bread, but french bread? Sandwich bread?

So we spent a good part of our free time this week making bread. We tried making baguettes from the recipe on the King Arthur bread. They turned out... hard. We tried making soda bread. That turned out gross. And then I tried a recipe for rosemary, lemon, garlic bread that I found online.

For the record, I would NOT suggest putting lemon in this bread. But the bread part turned out WONDERFUL. I was shocked. I never ever thought I could so easily make bread like this at home. It's no Albemarle Baking Company, but it's just as good as any french bread you get at a regular store.

I tried it again yesterday without the lemon, garlic, and rosemary and it was even better!

The directions are simple:

Combine 3 cups bread flower, 1 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp yeast, and 1 1/2 cups water in a standing mixer with the bread hook attached. Mix until combined.

Cover bowl with a damp paper towel and leave overnight. The original recipe said to leave it 12-18 hours, but I left mine for 13 hours since it's so hot and humid here.

About 30 minutes before you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450. Place a dutch oven in the oven for 30 minutes to heat up. Then pull it out, scoop the dough in, put the lid back on, and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, pull the lid off and continue baking for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes are up, pull it out of the oven and put it in a rack to cool. Then you're done! SO EASY.


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