Freshly Baked Artisan Bread
The bread dough recipe comes from "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day." The idea to crock it came from a blog I ran across. Amazing, but it works great in the slow cooker! The recipe makes enough for about 4 1 lb loaves, but you can keep it in the fridge for up to 14 days. Don't let the prep time scare you off, it includes 2 hours of rising. It's less than 15 min to put it together.
- 3 Cups lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Kosher or Coarse Salt
- 6 1/2 Cups All purpose flour
- 2 Packets Yeast
Combine the yeast (two packets equals 1 1/2 tbls, and it doesn't matter what type) with the water in a 5 qt container with a lid. Stir in the salt and flour until the mixture is completely wet. It takes a little muscle.
Loosely cover and let rise 2 to 5 hours until it's nearly filled the container and is flat on top. Do NOT punch down. At this point, you can refrigerate for up to 14 days. It's easier to work with after it's been refrigerated, but you can just cut off a 1 lb piece (about 1/4 of the dough roughly the size of a grapefruit). Shape as desired with floured hands. Cut a few slits on top. Put parchment paper on bottom of crock. Place dough in and cook on high about an hour (longer if your crock cooks at a lower temp like mine) until the bread doesn't feel "doughy" to the touch. If you prefer a crispier crust, brown under the broiler.
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