Monday, February 25, 2013

Swiss artisan bread...

Remember all the stuff I wrote about making sourdough breads?  Well, I fiddled and fiddled with it until I was tired of making heavy, dense bread that was mostly fed to the chickens.  There was a lot of pre-fermenting and long rising times to get a sourdough bread to its final baking destination, and I wouldn't have minded it too much if my loaves had turned out the way I had envisioned them.  But no.  I'm not sure if it was our northern climate or the sourdough starter itself or what, but I had pretty much given it up and then something wonderful happened.  A new recipe was found in the comments section of a sourdough website. I decided I just had to try it.  It's not a sourdough recipe though.  In fact, I think the commenter-guy, Heinz, decided that some of us out there might be sick of all this fiddle-and-fuss with sourdough and would rather spend less time and yet get great bread baking results.

The loaf you see above is the third loaf I've made in three weeks.  Hubs and I are able to polish off a loaf a week by having a slice of this bread toasted with our morning eggs.  It is just what we want to eat --  crusty on the outside, tender and light on the inside.

The recipe calls for the loaf to be made in a cloche type of clay baker which I do not have, but instead, I make my loaf in a cast iron Dutch oven.  I preheat my Dutch oven base just like they do the cloche and then I put the raised bread in when it's all heated up, pop the lid on, and bake according to the directions.  If your oven doesn't go up to 500, set it for 450.  I set mine at 450 and so far, it has come out perfectly each time.  Want to give it a try?  Here's the recipe.

Swiss Artisan Bread
I would like to share my recipe for my Swiss Artisan Bread which is simple to make, needs no preferment and hours + hours time before it is ready. I call it Swiss Artisan bread because it is closest to the bread we ate while growing up in Switzerland.  I use unbleached, organic King Arthur flour. I find that the dough develops well when the room temperature is around 77 degrees.  ~Heniz
2 cups of white Bread flour

1 cup of whole Wheat flour
½ cup of Rye flour
¼ tsp. Instant Yeast powder (Fast-Rising, Rapid-Rise, Quick Rise)
1 tsp. Honey
1 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt

1 1/2 cup filtered Water
▪ Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl.
▪ Add in the water (with dissolved honey) and mix until the liquid is fully absorbed.
▪ Knead the dough for approx. 8-10 minutes.
▪ Let the dough rest for 90 minutes in the bowl covered with a plastic bag.
▪ Gently flatten the dough on a flat surface.
▪ Then fold it like a letter and shape it into the desired form.
▪ Transfer dough into a proofing basket lined with parchment paper.
▪ Cover with a plastic bag and let it rest for 60 minutes before baking.
▪ Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500 with (clay baking dish).
▪ Open the hot oven and transfer the dough with parchment paper into the baking dish.
▪ Score the top & lightly sprinkle with flour.
▪ Close the cover of the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes at 500.
▪ Remove the cover and continue baking at 400 until crust is as desired (about 10-15 minutes).
Good luck and bon appetit.
I'm currently reading a book called City of Tranquil Light by Bo Cadwell.  It is a novel written about a husband and wife who were missionaries to China in the early 1900s.  Since reading it, I often think about how very much we have here in America--plentiful and bountiful foods, good water to drink, and clean  living conditions.  Compared to the rest of the world, we are so rich in so many ways.  When I saw the quote below, I thought how very true it is that most times we reach people first through feeding their hungry bodies and then we can feed their hungry souls the Bread of Life.

There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.
 ~Mahatma Gandhi


  1. It's interesting that you transfer the bread after the second rising! I bake a bread in a similar manner (dutch oven but no transfer) and we LOVE it. So easy and Yummy! Your recipe looks more healthy than mine though LOL!

  2. I was about to fuss at you for tempting me with more bread recipes (I LOVE bread, but should probably avoid it for the most part), until I reached the Gandhi quote. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing it.


  3. Glad you found a recipe that has been successful for you.
    The result looks lovely! I haven't got a dutch oven, but I can appreciate the benefits and blessing of being able to make and eat home baked bread.

  4. We do have so much more than many in this world. Leaves a lot less room for complaining when you consider that...

  5. That looks amazing! My dad had the same starter for 10 years. I got it after he passed away and I killed it. I was sad. I love sourdough and I start it every so often but I can never keep it going. I have no idea why. But this bread looks lovely.

    Going to look up that book. I love books about missionaries.

    Have a blessed day


  6. Your thoughts and words are always so good, Jody. Sometimes I think I literally have more bread than I could ever eat and now I am thinking it's a great metaphor for all the other "too much" stuff, too. We lose perspective when we are too full. I hope my response is humble thankfulness.

  7. This is similar to an artisan bread that I make. Mine doesn't have rye, or whole wheat though. This looks delicious and I want to try it soon.
    Thanks for the book reccomendation.

  8. Beautiful loaf! I'm trying a new (to me) recipe today (it started last night) that I will be sharing if all turns out as promised. If it does I will be so happy because it is SO simple!!

    The Gandhi quote is definitely one we should keep at the forefront of our minds.. that we may always be thankful and that we may always be generous in Jesus' name.

    Blessings, Debbie

  9. I should read a bio of Ghandi. I think that every time I see one of his quotes, which seems to be frequently lately. Are you enjoying the Caldwell book? I've thought about reading it in the past when I've seen it mentioned. Can you believe I hardly ever eat bread-bread? Yes, and I still look like this. ha.

  10. That is a wonderful quote - and a beautiful loaf!

  11. This makes a wonderful loaf. I use a combination of white bread flour and wholemeal flour. I knead it in the bread machine for 15 minutes on the pizza setting, then leave it in the machine for 60 minutes for the first rising. It works a treat


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