I've had a few requests for my Artisan bread recipe. Ok Ok. Here y'all go:
3 Cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tablespoons salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
6 1/2 Cups flour
*Optional: 1-2 drops Rosemary oil, or any fresh herbs you desire
You'll also need corn meal when it's time to bake.
Mix the water, yeast and salt together, then add all the flour at once. Mix until evenly moist, but do not knead. Cover loosely (with a thin towel or lid, not airtight) and let the dough rise for 2-5 hours. I usually can't wait more that 2. Once it's about double in size it's good to go.
Split the dough into 2 sections. Using your hands, round each section into a ball by pulling the top of the ball down around to the bottom until the top is smooth. Place dough on a floured cookie sheet (upside down so it can slide off easily, you will bake the bread on a cooking stone or a separate cookie sheet) and flour the top of the dough ball liberally.
After you have floured the dough ball, slash the top with a serrated knife. Let the dough rise for about 40 minutes.
While the dough rises, preheat the oven to 450. Place the stone (or cookie sheet you'll bake the bread on) in the oven on the center rack so it can get good and hot.
When the dough is ready to bake, take the stone out of the preheated oven and place it on a hot pad. Cover the top of the stone with corn meal and gently slide the dough balls onto the stone. Careful, it's HOT! Place a pan (I use my broiler pan) with 1 inch of water on the bottom rack in the oven. Place the stone on the center rack. The steam from the water will make the bread a little crispy on the outside, but it will remain very moist inside.
Bake for 30 minutes.
When you remove the bread you will hear it crackle a little as it cools. I love to dip it in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, make bruschetta, or slice it up and make garlic toast. It's delicious!