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Easy Authentic Artisan Bread
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5 from 2 votes

Easy Authentic Artisan Bread

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Proofing time18 hrs
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (preferably unbleached), plus extra for baking (plain flour) Weight is 18 oz/535g
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons purified water
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey

Instructions

  • Whisk the flour & salt together in a medium bowl; make a well in the center. Grease a large bowl & set aside. 
  • Place the water in a small saucepan or microwavable jug & heat until lukewarm - about 85F. Don't overheat the water or you'll kill the yeast. Add the honey & yeast & stir until combined. Add to the flour mixture. Mix with a spatular or wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms & all the flour is incorporated. Place the dough into the greased bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap & a towel & put in a warm, draft-free spot for 18 hours (it's between 68 & 74 degrees where I keep the bread for rising in the winter). 
  • After rising, use a bendy pastry scraper or spatular & fold the dough over on itself about 6 times. Cover & allow to rise for 2 hours. 
  • Place the Dutch oven, with lid, in the oven & preheat to 425F (220C). Leave in the oven for 20 minutes after the oven has come up to temperature. Very carefully remove it from the oven, add a small handful of flour to the bottom of the pan to lightly cover the base & with floured hands, lift the bread into the Dutch oven. Or turn the bowl upside down & let the loaf fall into the Dutch oven. Lightly flour the top. Here you can snip 5 to 7 patterns or v-shape into the top of the bread or use a blade to make a pattern or even just one slit. Replace the lid & bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Remove the lid & bake a further 30 minutes or until bread is burnished brown. Carefully remove from the oven & tip the Dutch oven up to remove the bread to a wire rack. The bread is wonderful served warm but don't be tempted to slice into it hot - tempting as it may be. Any leftovers can be sliced & frozen up to 1 month. This also make wonderful toast.