Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Quick 'n Easy Slow Rise Crusty Bread in a Pot

 Slow and Easy Bread in a Pot adapted from Jacques
   Pepin Cooking Show, Fast Food My Way

This is the easiest bread with a good crust and chewy crumb that I have ever made.  I had to invest in a new non-stick pot, but I have been pleased with the results of this recipe, so it's worth it.  This bread can also be made in a heavy non-stick bundt pan; you will get lots of crust.

I plan to try this method of with other Artisan bread recipes and also try substituting whole wheat flour for part of the white.

                                                                 1 3/4 cups tepid water
                                                                 2 tsp. yeast
                                                                 1 tsp. salt
                                                                 4 cups unbleached white flour

     Stir the water, yeast and salt together.  In a non-stick pot, oven-safe pot, combine  Water mixture and the flour and stir, stir, stir until the dough is stretchy and very moist.  Let the dough rise for 40-50 minutes and stir it down.  Now cover it, and let it rise in the refrigerator for 12 hours or overnight in the same pot.
In the morning, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F., and put the pot in the hot oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes.  Let it sit and cool for a few minutes before turning it     out. Cool completely before slicing, if you can. 

You must have a non-stick pot with a good finish.  I first tried this with an older non-stick pot that has been abused over the years.  The bottom crust stuck fast; the second time I used a new non-stick pot, and it came out perfectly.  It was crusty and the crumb had nearly as good a texture as Artisan bread.  I think the moisture        content of the dough is the key to the Artisan texture--keep it moist.  Flour moisture content varies, so you can always add a little more.

Have fun and enjoy fresh bread the simple way.

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