Making complex and highly flavorful artisan bread is an art. There is also some science involved in getting just the right fermentation conditions, temperatures, and length of time the dough goes through its process to really produce an ideal loaf of bread. We mean the breads with excellent crumb, crust, and texture. We love that bread. Let's face it though, sometimes people just want a really quick loaf that doesn't involve ever thinking about making the dough several days ahead. That's totally okay. Our chef has come up with this little gem.
This artisan-style peasant bread is ready in as little as 2 hours. It isn’t traditional artisan bread. It doesn’t claim to be. It does, however, have a remarkable texture and flavor like artisan bread. The addition of the prune juice or apple juice gives it a nice well-rounded fruity undertone and the balsamic vinegar gives it just a hint of a sourdough note. The darker color, though it appears to be whole wheat, is in fact a result of adding the balsamic vinegar to the dough. We think you'll agree that it is a great choice for your quick artisan bread needs.
2-Hour Artisan-Style Peasant Bread
4 ½ cups Panhandle Milling Bread flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. rapid-rise instant yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
¾ cup lukewarm apple juice or prune juice
2 Tbsp. High Quality Balsamic Vinegar
In a 4-quart electric mixer with a dough hook mix all the ingredients 3 minutes on medium speed until the liquid is absorbed and the ingredients form a sticky dough. Grease a 2-quart oven-safe Dutch oven pan generously. Remove the bread dough from the mixer and form into a loose ball pinching the bottom like a balloon. Place in the Dutch seam-side down and cover. Set aside in a warm spot to rise 45 minutes to an hour until doubled. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Bake 15 minutes covered. Reduce heat to 375° F, remove lid, and bake 20-30 minutes more until golden brown.