Artisan Bread

I’ve been looking for a crusty age old traditional bread for years. This may not be the French Artisan bread they sell at the store but it’s super close. The recipe alone won me over for these simple reasons-
 -It can sit for up to 7days
-you can make it in a plastic container
-you don’t knead it!
-it’s easy to mix your kids can help
-easy clean up
**** You do need to plan ahead, it takes 14 1/2 hrs in total. 2hr Rising, 12hr resting in fridge + about 40 minutes at room temp before baking****
 Not only are those great facts about it, you can make different variations. Sprinkle it with Cheddar cheese before baking, you can even put it IN the bread, or herbs, poppy seeds on top, sesame seeds…you name it, go ahead and make it your own. It tastes really good, it’s got the crusty outside, the fluffy light inside. This is easy!

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (105°F. to 115°F.) <—– You really need to take the temp of the water!
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups hot water

Cornmeal
Water, if desired
Sesame seed, poppy seed or shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired

Combine 1 1/2 cups warm water, yeast, sugar and salt in 2-quart plastic food container or bowl. Stir in flour with wooden spoon until moistened.

(Dough will look wet and be loose enough to conform to the shape of its container.) Cover loosely with lid or plastic food wrap; let stand at room temperature until dough rises and begins to collapse (about 2 hours).

(Top of dough will have a flattened appearance.) Cover loosely; refrigerate overnight or up to 7 days.
The pic below is after 12hrs of resting time

When ready to form loaf, line large baking sheet with parchment paper; sprinkle with cornmeal. Set aside.

With floured hands, stretch and shape (do not knead) dough into 1 (16-inch) or 2 (10-inch) long smooth loaves. Place onto prepared baking sheet; let stand at room temperature, uncovered, 40 minutes. (Loaf will not rise much during this “resting” period.) It may look sloppy, but just stretch it, no need to shape or hassle with tucking ends with this bread!!

 
Fifteen minutes prior to baking time, place broiler pan or 13×9-inch baking pan onto bottom oven rack; carefully pour 2 cups hot water into pan. Then, heat oven to 450°F.
Cut 5 to 8 (1/4-inch) deep diagonal slits across top of loaf with serrated knife. If desired, brush loaf with water; sprinkle evenly with sesame seed, poppy seed or shredded Parmesan cheese.
Place baking sheet with bread onto middle oven rack. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and firm to touch. Cool completely on wire cooling rack.
Mine got left in there too long as my baking stone cracked while baking, it took me a bit to get it out of the oven in one piece. Oops! 🙂