Crusty artisan bread

This bread was amazing. So simple and easy to throw together. This, my friends, is bread in its most basic form. Now, I initially saw this on pinterest and tracked it down to this amazing blog; here is Janet’s original. Because this post has been so popular for her and she’s had so many questions, she even has a forum where questions are posted and answered. Please go check Janet’s blog out, her posts make me laugh and inspire me to try different things! Really, her blog is a joy to read. Plus she has step-by-step pictures for you! She even has different flavor variations listed in her post for you to try. I tried the cranberry variation and LOVED it! Now this really is bread in its most basic form, there are probably variations of this specific recipe all over the place – Janet doesn’t claim this as an original and does tell you where where she got it from.

I loved that this was a no-knead bread. It was easy and the dough is quite forgiving. So, don’t stress out about ruining the dough, it can take some rough handling! It had a great crust and that wonderfully soft, slightly chewy inside. AMAZING. This is ranked as number 2 on M’s bread list, right under the Maori bread he loves so dearly. It was great that I could prepare the dough and leave it overnight. Though, the dough is quite sticky and will attach itself to anything and everything in its path. YUM. Make it for your friends, family and loved ones, they will be utterly impressed!

This is definitely a bread we’ll be making and enjoying again and again. Thank you, Janet for posting this one for the world to see! So, have fun with this one, try the different variations and let me know how it goes! Post your suggestions to the bread forum on Janet’s blog – simplysogood.blogspot.com. PS, it goes great with that strawberry balsamic jam!!

Crusty artisan bread

\ Look at how pretty it is! I didn’t even really had to work that hard!

Crusty artisan bread sliced

Look at that! The texture was quite impressive!

Cranberry artisan bread

This one got a little burnt. 😦 It still tasted GREAT, though!

Cranberry artisan bread sliced

See, look at that! 🙂

Cranberry artisan bread dough

As an afterthought, this is what my dough looked like after it worked its magic through the night. 🙂

What you need:
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cups water
What to do:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast.  Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 – 18 hours (overnight works great).
Heat oven to 450 degrees.  When the oven has reached 450 degrees place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball.  Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating.  Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough.  Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.
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