When my sweet friend Lauren came to town a few weeks back, her husband brought along two beautiful loaves of homemade bread for the eatin' part of our visit. He must have known there is no better way to butter me up than to bring me some home-baked deliciousness. I instantly decided he was a good catch.
Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes - Makes 4 1 lb loaves (recipe is easily doubled or halved)
3 cups lukewarm water
1.5 Tbsp yeast
1.5 Tbsp salt
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Add yeast and salt to the lukewarm water in a large non-metallic bowl. Stir to dissolve and then add flour gradually, stirring until fully incorporated. You may need to use your hands to be sure all the flour gets mixed in.
Cover bowl with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours. After two hours you can refrigerate until you are ready to bake or begin baking.
If you want to bake right away the dough will be sticky and difficult to handle, so the first time you attempt the recipe it is best to use dough that has been refrigerated overnight (or at least 3 hours) before shaping a loaf.