Our Best Artisan Crusty Bread
One of our most requested recipes, this bread was shared with me by Chef Amy Sins at the Langlois Culinary Crossroad cooking school in New Orleans. I think it was originally created by Jim Lahey at Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC. Looks simple enough - only 4 ingredients, but there are two key tricks...DON'T KNEAD it and use the right type of baking vessel. The Emile Henry Flame Bread Cloche or Risotto Pot are our favourites.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp quick rise yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast. Add water and stir with a fork until a shaggy mixture forms. Don’t overmix – remember this is a no-knead bread. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 to 18 hours. (If it sits for 11 hours, that’s ok or if it sits for 24, that’s OK too…truly it is a very forgiving dough. We like to make it the day before and let it sit overnight.)
- Heat oven to 450°F. When oven temperature has been reached place your 6 to 8-quart heavy duty pot* with a lid in the oven and heat for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, using a dough scraper or spatula, scrape the sticky dough onto a heavily floured surface and gently shape the dough into a ball. (You will be able to see a large air bubbles in the the dough. That’s good. You don’t want to knead out the large air holes. Artisan bread has lots of big air holes) Don’t worry..just keep your hands well floured but DON’T knead the dough. Just shape it into a round ball. You want the bubbles in the dough to remain. Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper, cover with a tea towel and let sit while the pot is heating.
- Remove the hot pot from the oven (use good oven mitts) and place parchment with the dough inside the pot. Cover the hot pot with the lid and return to the oven. (The idea is to create a steam oven inside the pot. That is what gives it a crispy crust.) Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on. After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake 15 minutes longer.
- Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack. Chances are you will probably want to cut into this right away, but if you have a little patience, let it cool for 15 to 20 minutes. It’s easier to cut that way.
*A Note On The Cooking Vessel: It is important to use a covered baking dish that can take the 450 F oven temperature. We have also tested this bread in a cast iron Dutch oven with a lid and it works quite well. Since the cast iron pot retains the heat a little more, we find reducing the temperature to 425 F a good idea.
Suggested Items To Make This Bread:
Emile Henry FLAME Dutch Oven, Risotto Pot or Tagine – Traditional bread ovens are made from refractory bricks and are flat on the bottom and have a domed roof. When they are heated (with a fire directly inside the oven) they become very hot. Placing the dough inside a traditional bread oven with a bowl of water, allows steam to be created. The domed roof serves to distribute the heat at the beginning of the cooking and spread the heat out evenly. The oven floor returns the heat to the bread. Emile Henry FLAME Cookware are designed around the same principle and are ideal for baking this bread. $179.00 – $265.00
Emile Henry FLAME Bread Cloche – Made from ceramic which is naturally refractory, the bread cloche allows the same cooking process as the traditional oven. The cloche allows the steam to fall back onto the bread which is then completely absorbed the the end of the cooking process. The complete evaporation allows the bread to cook and dry out. Thanks to the ribbed surface of the plate, the bread won’t stick and is easy to remove. $199.00
Chef’n Buttercup Butter Maker – Nothing tastes better than a loaf of homemade bread and slab of butter. Now you can make your own. All you need is cream, salt and the NEW Chef’n Buttercup Butter Maker. Shake until it separates, rinse and repeat. Add honey or cinnamon for a delicious spread on homemade bread, chopped herbs and lemon to add to fish or roasted garlic to top on steaks! $18.99
Makes 1 loaf
Only the finest ingredients will do.
Before making these great dishes, be sure to stop by Relish Retail. We've stocked our store with items we love to use ourselves, including gourmet recipe essentials from around the world. From Spanish saffron to Madagascar vanilla, our pantry staples will help you add flourish to any meal.