Making Bread

I have made my own bread many times but always in a bread maker, never in the oven.  So this was my very first non machine loaf of bread and it was amazing.  Really, some of the best bread I have ever ate.  I brought some for Mom to try and she likes it so much she’s considering using it for the coffee shop. 

I thought I would share this amazingly easy recipe for every one. 

Artisan Bread
3 cups luke warm water
1 1/2 tablespoons active, dry yeast
1 tablespoon regular salt
6 1/2 cups all purpose flour
You take all the ingredients and put them in a big Tupperware container.  (I used a clean old gallon ice cream tub.  You poke a small hole in the top of the lid.) You simply mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon until they are well incorporated.  NO KNEADING AT ALL! Put the lid on your tub and walk away for 2 hours.
The dough will rise up and be flat on top with lots of holes in it.  Form 3 balls with the dough using VERY well floured hands (this dough is very sticky).  Do not knead the dough just smooth it into a ball.  Place the balls of dough on parchment paper dusted with flour and let them sit for 40 minutes.  They will not rise very much.  You can bake all three loaves or put two in the fridge for up to 3 days and bake them later.
While the dough is resting preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Place your cookie sheet on the top rack and a metal cake pan full of water on the bottom rack (this will create steam).
Make sure you heat up your cookie sheet while the oven is preheating. If you have a baking stone this would work perfect but I don’t. Once your dough has set for 40 minutes cut slashes in the top with a serrated knife about a 1/4 of an inch deep.
Slide your bread and parchment paper onto the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and hollow sounding when you tap it with your knuckles.
The result:
I probably should have pulled this out a minute or two earlier but it still looks pretty good.  The taste is incredible.  The outside is crunch and the inside is so soft.  LOVE THIS!

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