Artisan bread

There are many ways of making bread other than the traditional “knead till your hands fall off” method. Frankly, I am not a fan of the kneading method, so I have been experimenting with other easier methods and I now have a few that suit me perfectly. A few recipes that I use are:
 
  1. using active yeast in the required amount.
  2. using a very small amount of active yeast and allowing the dough to rise naturally overnight.
  3.  making your own starter yeast and using it in place of active yeast. 
 
The last method gives a sourdough like bread which people either love or hate. So, I will start with the second method. Since it uses only a quarter tsp of yeast, and I had only a tsp of active yeast left, I figured I am good for the next few weeks at least. I have also started making starter yeast l and will give that recipe next week. 

Ingredients 
Flour – 3 cups (maida or wheat flour)
Room temperature water – 1.5 cups
Active yeast – 1/4 tsp
Salt – 1.5 tsp
 
Mix the flour with salt and yeast. Add the water and mix well with a spatula. The dough will be slightly sticky, but don’t worry. Cover tightly with plastic wrap (I have these reusable silicon wraps which are really convenient) and leave it overnight on the counter. After 12-14 hours (this is a very forgiving dough so you don’t have to worry about how long it stays out to ferment).

Put some flour on a wooden board and gently remove the dough from its container. Add a little flour and fold it till you get a ball shaped dough. This dough will be soft, but don’t worry. Put this ball on parchment paper or aluminium foil and set aside for another hour.

Twenty minutes before baking, start heating the oven to 230 C along with a deep over proof container and lid. When oven is ready, gently lift the dough with the parchment paper/aluminium foil and put it in the heated container. Cover with the lid and bake in oven for half an hour. After half an hour, carefully remove the lid and bake for another 15 mins so that the top browns nicely. Remove from container and allow to cool for ten mins before slicing. Enjoy!

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