This has been the longest week ever. You see on Sunday my dear sweet light of my life husband took a short trip and returned with a puppy.
We knew this was coming. He put a deposit down on her when she was only four weeks old. However, I had no idea what life with a puppy would be like. Let me tell you what life with a puppy is like- hell. Life with a puppy and a toddler is the WORST idea ever. Seeing as the toddler is here to stay, by Wednesday we were ready to send the little fluff ball back. We finally settled on keeping her till Sunday (give the monster a week) before we make any decisions.
She is here to stay. Little loves her. I’m confident they will be best buds and, in reality, we got the puppy for him. He misses our old man cat so much. We are just in for a really rough few months of puppy hood. Let me reiterate- I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS.
What does all of this have to do with bread? Absolutely nothing. I just thought you wanted to know how my week went and why I am so grateful it is the weekend.
So here is this bread. It is awesome. It is easy. It is delicious. Nothing like the terror of a puppy living in my house.
I would encourage you to embark on this bread making adventure this weekend. You will find it is incredibly simple and something you can incorporate into your weekly life. I know I will. Even if you work full time and think you don’t have time for bread you do. At least for this bread.
Listen carefully. All you do is mix then let rise. Throw in the fridge wand wait till you want to make bread. When you want to bake bread you have 30 min of preheating the oven/letting the bread rest, 30 min of baking, 30 minutes of cooling. Fresh baked bread on your table in an hour and half flat. Brilliant.
I have made this recipe twice now and both times it has been spectacular. I plan on experimenting with add ins (what is this? Cold stone?) such as cheeses, garlic, olives, or cinnamon and sugar. I’ll keep you updated I promise.
Go. Make bread. Do not get a puppy. Ever.
Artisan Bread (makes 2-4 loaves)
adapted from An Oregon Cottage
I want to start by saying An Oregon Cottage has a spectacular photo by photo tutorial. I highly recommend you jet over there and take a good look through her steps. I referenced them many times while making the first batch. Also get a dutch oven. It is the only way to make this.
3 cups warm water
1 Tbs instant yeast
1 Tbs salt
6 1/2 cups flour (any combination of unbleached and whole wheat you see fit. 3 whole wheat to 3 1/2 unbleached worked well for me)
Put the yeast and salt in a bowl and add the water. Add all the flour and mix well. You aren’t looking to kneed the dough but I found it is best if it at least cleans the sides of the bowl. It will be very tacky. Add a bit more flour if necessary. Put in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap (not airtight). Let set at room temperature for about 1-1/2 hours. Put in the refrigerator for up to a week.
When ready to bake, place an enameled dutch oven, with lid, in a 450 degree oven. Dust the dough with flour, grab a quarter, third, or half (depending on the size loaf you want) and cut off piece with a serrated knife. Using well-floured hands, shape gently into a ball and place on a piece of parchment paper. Dust the top with more flour. Let sit on the counter 30 minutes. Then slash the top of the loaf in thirds at least 1/2 inch thick with a serrated knife. Transfer the loaf to the hot dutch oven using the edges of the parchment, replace the lid, and cook for 15 to 17 minutes. Remove lid and continue to cook for another 15 to 17 minutes, or until loaf is a golden brown and sounds hollow when thumped. Remove to a cooling rack for 30 to 60 minutes before cutting.