There is a store near us that sells the best artisan bread. Our favorite is their cherry white chocolate pecan. It is seriously addicting and if you were alone and hungry, you could definitely take down the whole loaf yourself. I have always loved bread. Through most of my college years I worked at Great Harvest making bread. I’m pretty sure I gained the freshmen 15 working there and eating all that yummy bread. It was totally worth it. Recently my mom has been experimenting with Artisan bread and has come up with a recipe that is no-fail. The best part about it is that hands on time is about 15 minutes. The rest just takes care of itself. Even if you have never made bread, or have made bread and have failed – this bread recipe is for you! You really can’t mess it up and people will think you have been making bread your whole life!
This bread is incredibly versatile. You can make it just plain which is good if you are serving with a flavorful soup. Or you can start playing with it and use add-ins. Our favorites have been: cranberry/white chocolate/pecan; cranberry cinnamon, rosemary and cinnamon raisin. We don’t really use measurements for the add-ins. Just throw in whatever feels right.
You start by adding flour, yeast and salt to a bowl. Mix, then add water and mix until everything is incorporated. If you are going to include add-ins you would add them now.
Let it sit in the bowl for 8-20 hours, covered. Yes – you read that right. You can mix it up at night and then in the morning you are ready to finish it off. After you let it sit in the bowl, turn it out onto a floured surface, or you can also put it in a floured bowl. Cover and let it sit for 1 hour.
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 450 degrees for 30 minutes. You will need an oven safe pot for this recipe. Place your pot in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.
After your bread has risen for an hour and your pot has preheated for 30 minutes, carefully place your dough into the pot.
Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 with the lid off or until the bread is golden on top.
Remove from pot and allow to cool before slicing.
Then serve! This bread goes great with soup and salad, or also with brunch or breakfast as a side.