Rustic Artisanal Bread

I have been implementing family Sunday dinner at my home and it's been delightful. This new tradition insures I get to see my two older kids that are out of the house and to create a tradition with all my children that Sundays are for family. Everyone is welcome: girlfriends, boyfriends, and sometimes friends, too, I don't care...the more the merrier. All I know, is that I can look around that big farm table and see all my babies. Every. Single. One of them. With kids, especially older ones with such busy schedules, my husband and I look forward to this time.

My first introduction into this amazing artisanal bread was from my son's girlfriend, Sydney, a beauty inside and out, who not only is an amazing cook and creative, but a wonderful friend. She had brought some baguettes fresh out of her oven to accompany my spaghetti and meatball, Sunday dinner and the crowd went wild!

Sooooo, we decided to make this for a lunch we planned to have together in a couple days and we decided that we deserved to eat like queens. And eat like queens we did! The menu proved to be classy and amazing-- gruyere and caramelized onion, grilled cheese using the bread we made and roasted tomato soup. Oh, we had a good time. We prepped this bread 2 days before our lunch and all we had to do was watch the dough rise and bubble for those 2 days. No touching it, no moving or having to feed or knead it, just watch--and maybe smell the deliciousness, too.  Insanely easy. Insanely good. Where has this bread recipe been all my life?

Sydney and I's lunch was the bomb. This bread had all the familiarities of a fine bakery's artisanal bread but the fact it was pulled out of our oven made it taste ever more sublime and made us squeal with excitement. To make something this exquisite was something to behold and celebrate. You can eat this alone, with butter, dunked in a balsamic vinaigrette---geeze, I don't need to tell you how to eat something, you'll know, just let your taste buds lead you.



Rustic homemade yeasted bread:

425g (15oz)bread flour
375g (14oz)water
1 heaping tbsp. course ground salt
1/4 tsp. dried yeast
semolina, optional

1. Put all your ingredients into a large bowl and mix until just combined. 

2. Cover with cling wrap and leave overnight for at least 8 but preferably 12 hours.

3. Form your loaf. Place a generous amount of flour on your kitchen counter. Scoop dough out onto the flour then sprinkle generously with more flour. Gently fold the edges from the outside to form a round loaf.

4. Place more flour on a clean tea towel. Place loaf with the rough top side down. Sprinkle with semolina, if using, or more flour. Cover. 

5. Place a large oven proof dish with a lid in the oven. I used my medium sized, dutch oven. Preheat oven and the pan to the hottest setting for at least 1/2 hour.

6. Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven. Remove lid. Sprinkle a little semolina, in the base of the pan. Gently place loaf in the pan inverted so that the rougher surface is now on the top. Don't worry about smoothing it out or having it centered--it will work itself out in the oven. Score the top of the dough with a sharp knife, making some slashes. You'll love the look of these grooves when baked.

7. Pop the lid back on and bake for 30 minutes.

8. Remove the lid and turn the oven down to 400 F bake for a further    15 minutes until the loaf is deep brown. 

9. Cool on a wire rack uncovered for at least 30 minutes.

Recipe adapted from

Check out the rest of our lunch: caramelized onion and gruyere grilled cheese and roasted tomato soup.

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