There is seriously nothing like the smell of a fresh home made loaf of bread baking in your oven. Top it with a little bit of butter and freshly minced garlic and you’re little pieces of deliciously smelling heaven will get just that much better. Baking homemade artisan loaves each week has quickly become my favorite way to begin my morning and unwind at the end of my day. What I love about this recipe is that it makes two loaves, so I’ll bake one for myself and gift one to a friend. I mean, who doesn’t love to receive a warm loaf of bread right before dinner?! It’s the perfect addition to any meal.
I’m telling you this bread is so easy to make, with just 6 simple ingredients, it will result in the best tasting bread you’ve ever had in your life.
Here are the ingredients you need:
- 3 cups of lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
- 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Butter, melted
- Garlic, freshly minced
Let’s get started:
- Mix the lukewarm water (I used tap water), dry yeast and salt together. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, you don’t need to wait for the yeast to absorb all the way before adding the flour. I used my KitchenAid Mixer with the flat beater to mix the ingredients, but you can do it with a spoon.
- Add all the flour at one time and mix thoroughly . You don’t need to knead it, just make sure the ingredients are mixed together well.
- Put your dough mixture in a container with a lid and be sure to leave an opening in the lid for the dough to rise. I recommend using a larger container. My dough rose double the size of the mixture if that helps.
- Let your dough sit out for several hours so it can rise. Once it has risen and deflated a little bit your dough is done. At this point you can cook it or put it in the fridge. I covered mine and put it in the fridge overnight.
- When you’re ready to cook your dough, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees and put the pizza stone on the center rack (if you have one, I used a cookie sheet) and broiler pan on the bottom shelf of the oven and let heat.
- Grab a piece, using flour to keep it from sticking to your hands and begin to shape it into a ball. I used a lot of flour to keep it from sticking during this process.
- Melt 1/4 cup of butter, mix in freshly minced garlic and paint on top of loaf.
- If you want to create a fun design in the top of your loaf, use a knife to cut stripes into the top before it goes in the oven. This will help the melted butter and garlic seep into your loaf.
- Put some flour down on your pizza stone or cookie sheet to keep the dough from sticking while it’s baking. Before you close the oven put a cup of hot water into the broiler pan and then close the oven quickly to trap the steam. Be careful not to burn yourself while you do this.
- Bake at 450 for 30-40 minutes or until the outside gets a nice brown crust. I baked mine for 40 minutes and the outside crust made that amazing crackle sound when I cut into it and the center was soft. Best of both worlds if you ask me.
Once it’s done baking, take it out of the oven and let it cool for about 15 minutes, then cut and serve warm. My favorite way to serve my warm loaf of bread is with fig jam, Brie cheese and organic honey drizzled on top. I promise you will love it! Be sure to check out my other french country loaf as well.