- In a large bowl stir together the 3/4 cup water and the yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat and stir milk, sugar, butter, and salt just until warm (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F) and butter, if using, almost melts. Stir milk mixture into yeast mixture until combined. Stir in flour (dough will be sticky). Lightly coat a medium bowl with cooking spray or brush with olive oil; transfer dough to the greased bowl. Lightly coat a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray or brush with olive oil; cover bowl with the greased plastic wrap, coated side down. Chill for at least 4 hours or for up to 24 hours.
- Using a dough scraper or spatula, carefully loosen dough from bowl and turn out onto a floured surface. Cover with greased plastic wrap. Let stand for 30 minutes.
- Grease a baking sheet; sprinkle lightly with cornmeal. Gently shape dough into a 6-inch round loaf, lightly flouring the dough as needed. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, using dough scraper or spatula if necessary. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and place on the middle rack of your unheated oven; place a bowl of warm water on the lower rack. Let rise until nearly double in size (about 1 hour).
- Remove bread from oven; uncover and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl whisk together egg and the 2 teaspoons water; brush over loaf. Bake about 25 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the loaf registers at least 200 degrees F. If necessary to prevent overbrowning, cover with foil for the last 5 minutes of baking. Remove from baking sheet or pan; cool on a wire rack.
From the Test Kitchen
Prepare as directed except shape dough into an 8-inch square. Cut into sixteen 2-inch squares, flouring the dough and knife as necessary. Place about 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Bake about 15 minutes.
In Step 1, add any of these stir-ins in when you add the milk mixture to the yeast mixture.
1/2 cup ground toasted almonds, 1/2 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese (2 ounces), 1/4 cup crisp-cooked and crumbled bacon, 1/4 cup stone ground mustard and 2 teaspoons toasted caraway seed
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb, 1/2 cup golden raisins, 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot (1 medium), 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup cooked mashed sweet potato and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice. Reduce water in Step 1 to 1/2 cup.
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (2 ounces), 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese (2 ounces), 1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives, 1/4 cup thawed and well-drained chopped spinach, and 4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup cooked chopped onion, 1/2 cup finely snipped dried apricots, 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (2 ounces), and 1 teaspoon snipped fresh sage
Nutrition Facts (Artisan Bread)
- Per serving:
- 199 kcal cal.,
- 7 g fat
- (3 g sat. fat,
- 1 g polyunsaturated fat,
- 3 g monounsatured fat),
- 29 mg chol.,
- 469 mg sodium,
- 27 g carb.,
- 2 g fiber,
- 3 g sugar,
- 7 g pro.
- Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet