Homesteading In The Pacific Northwest

Monday, November 29, 2010

Artisan Bread...Easy and Affordable...

This is a great, easy recipe for a really good loaf of crusty, artisan bread.  A loaf of artisan bread in my local grocery store sells for $3.99.  I can make my bread using locally milled organic flour for about $1.75 a loaf!

Now, I should warn you that it takes 2 days to make this bread...don't panic!  The hands on time is probably less than 20 minutes...

Here are our ingredients:
3 cups flour ( I used an  Unbleached All Purpose White Flour from Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill ), plus a little more for dusting.
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast 
3/4 tablespoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
small amount of butter

To make the bread you need 2 large bowls, a wooden spoon, a plate and a large covered pot...

Lightly coat one of the bowls with butter. Dump the 3 cups flour, yeast, salt and water into the other bowl and stir until it form a loose dough (I use my Kitchen Aid mixer for this's easier on my hands).

Dust your hands with a little flour, remove the dough from the bowl and form it into a ball and place in the buttered bowl.  Cover with plastic the bowl in a warm place and forget about it for 12 to 18 hours.   After that time it will look like this...

Dump the dough on a floured surface.... (dust your hands lightly with flour and use them to scoop out any dough that sticks to the bowl).

Fold ends of dough over a few times and form into a ball shape.  Place the dough on a generously floured plate and sprinkle with more flour...

Cover the dough with a towel and set somewhere warm for 2 hours (my house was cold that day, so yes, that is a heating pad under the dough :)  After 90 minutes of the 2 hour raising time set your oven for 450 degrees and set the covered pot in the oven to preheat...

After the pot has been in the oven (don't you just love my 1956 GE Range with Double Ovens?...I Do!!!) for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven (use potholders, it's HOT!), uncover and dump the dough into the pot.  Replace the cover and bake covered for 30 minutes.  Take the cover off the pot and bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.  The bread will sound hollow if thumped.  Remove the bread from the oven and place on a rack to cool....

Serve warm...preferably with your own homemade butter  :)


(Recipe adapted from Jaden Hair who adapted it from Jim Lahey)


  1. MMM that looks great - and the cost is right! I may try that this winter! Thanks Deb!!

  2. I can't wait to try this recipe, Deb! Thanks so much for the photos, too. They'll help me get through the process. I can almost smell it from here!

  3. Oh ya, wish I had some right now, great way to start the morning!