Cast-Iron Baked Artisan Bread

Ok, this recipe is not paleo or gluten-free. In fact, it’s full of gluten. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a few things I missed by eating mostly paleo or gluten-free. And yeah, fresh baked bread is one of those things, even if it does give me tummy aches. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I wanted to share this recipe because I know not everyone is into using grain-free flours. I also know that grain-free baking can be disheartening sometimes because you tend to say stuff to yourself like “well, it’s not like regular ____, but it’s still really good.” Confession: I literally baked this bread as a reminder that I know how to bake after my gingerbread cookie recipe kept flopping. It made me feel better seeing this beautiful, crusty loaf come out of my oven. And, the next round of gingerbread cookies I baked turned out perfectly. So yeah, it was totally worth it. Any bloggers out there know this feeling?

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Anyway, enough rambling about the ups and downs of paleo baking. If you’re looking for a fool-proof, confidence in the kitchen boosting recipe for homemade artisan bread, this recipe should do the trick! There’s minimal kneading required and the yield is a beautiful loaf worthy of gifting!

Happy holidays and good luck with all your holiday baking!
Heather


Cast-Iron Baked Artisan Bread
Prep time: 3 hours   Total Time: 3.5 hours   Yield: 1 12-inch round loaf

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup warm water
3 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

Special equipment needed:
12-inch cast iron skillet
metal baking pan (size doesn’t matter 😉)
Pizza peel or cutting board

Directions:
1. Add active dry yeast, salt, and warm water to a bowl, stir, and let sit till becomes cloudy.
2. Add flour and stir til well combined to form a sticky, loose dough. Cover loosely with a lid (should not be airtight) and set at room temperature for 2 hours.
3. Cover pizza peel or cutting board with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour. Set aside.
4. Coat hands lightly with flour (to prevent sticking) and sprinkle flour on top of dough. Use hands to pull dough away from edges of the bowl and pressing together toward the center. Use hands to knead the dough lightly for about 30 seconds or just until it becomes firm and easier to handle.
5. Gently pick up the dough ball and shape by stretching the outer edges to the underside so that you have a nice, smooth ball. Place on the flour-coated parchment and allow to rest for 40 minutes.
6. Place clean, 12-inch cast-iron skillet on middle rack of your oven and an empty metal baking pan on the lower rack. Preheat oven to 450°F with pans inside.
7. Once dough has rested and oven has preheated, use a sharp, serrated-edge knife to make 3 slits in the top of the dough ball. Then, remove preheated skillet from oven, carefully slide the dough with parchment into the skillet, and place back in the oven. Before closing the door, carefully pour 1 cup of hot water into the pan placed on the bottom rack. Close door to trap steam inside.
8. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and crusty.

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