This French loaf is soft inside with a light, golden crust on the outside – just the way good bread is supposed to be.
“Perfection itself is imperfection.” – Vladimir Horowitz
I never thought of myself as an artisan.
However, when I discovered The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, I realized that the term ‘artisan’ was more than just a fancy marketing term.
Artisan Bread is a truly fabulous book for those interested in making their own bread as well as for artisans looking to develop their craft. 365 immersive pages are floured with pro-tips, illustrative recipes and delicious anecdotes to refining the perfect loaf.
The book opens with the most basic and standard bread you can make, the Boule, otherwise known as the Artisan Free-Form Loaf.
Yes, it is exactly as you would imagine. A bread formed by hand without kneading and barely any shaping.
It doesn’t get any easier than this.
I made some minor adjustments to the original as most of the recipes in the novel are modified to yield enough loaves to last throughout the week, one of the many perks to having this book in your collection. Since this was an early attempt and there were other breads I was interested in trying, I scaled back the recipe to suit my needs.
For extra eye-appeal, gently slash the top of your loaves right before baking.
When the loaves are golden on the outside and firm to the touch you know they are done. Let them rest completely on a cooling rack before slicing into them.
The interior should be unbelievably soft and springy.
I won’t deny our guests thought this was the best homemade bread they tried…better than the bakery fresh loaves, and we finished off the entire loaf that night.
Serve it with herb and garlic infused dipping oil, which I also included in the recipe box below.