Caritas Artisan Bread
6 cups All-Purpose Flour
3 ½ cups warm water
1 TBS salt
1 TBS active dry yeast
(Baking Stone and Parchment Paper, too!)
#1.) Mix salt and yeast in warm water. Dump flour into mixing bowl. Pour water mixture over flour and stir with a wooden spoon (or something strong). Dough will be wet and sticky. Stir only until incorporated.
#2.) Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a lid that’s not airtight, and sit on counter for one hour. At this point dough is ready for step #3 or place in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks (it won’t last that long though because you’ll eat it first!) This gets better with age! The first time you make this, let it sit in the fridge overnight because it’s hard to handle if not.
#3.) When ready to bake, flour your hands and pull of a grapefruit size chunk. Shape into a ball and place on parchment paper to rise while your oven is preheating to 400° (you need at least 30 minutes-1 hour rise time.) Make sure your baking stone is in the oven so it’s hot too.
#4.) When oven is heated, place the dough (along with the parchment paper it’s on) onto the hot baking stone. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown on outside. It’s tempting to cut into this loaf right away, and you can, but it will be difficult to cut without smushing the bread. It tastes better and looks beautiful if you’ll let it cool first.
•Each time you run out of dough, add the ingredients to the same bowl without cleaning it. It makes the dough almost spongy and so good!
•Instead of one ball of dough, you can shape it into rolls, which gives you more of the delicious crust. Brush the top with butter or egg white after they rise on the parchment paper just before baking. They’re beautiful!
•You can also make the dough in a bread pan. But add plenty of olive oil (1TBS) to the bottom of the pan and oil the sides so it won’t stick. The oil on the bottom of the bread pan makes the bottom of the bread kind of greasy and crispy and unique! People love it. Let it rise in the bread pan for an hour before baking.