There is nothing more appetizing than the smell of bread cooking, and that is one of reasons why I have gathered together this collection of my favorite bread recipes.
Even better, is bread made with yeast - real artisan bread uses only wild yeast starter, flour, water, and salt.
In these recipes, I have tried to remain true to purist artisan bread but instead used readily available, active dry yeast rather than wild yeast starter. But I have adhered to one basic rule - that all breads are made with yeast, by hand in small batches and without a fancy bread machine.
The French and the Italians are considered the masters of artisan bread making. Breads adhere to the four essential ingredients and a good quantity of water. They can be formed into all kinds of shapes and sizes. These include sourdoughs, baguettes, crusty ryes, brioche, ciabatta, focaccia, fougasse, and many more!
There is one cardinal rule to remember when baking this type of bread. Always use active yeast. If your yeast isn't bubbling when you mix it, then it is most likely no longer active. Without bubbling yeast, your bread won't rise.
For crispier crusts, try not to add too much flour when kneading the dough. To achieve an excellent crust, add a small pan of water to the bottom of the oven and mist your loaves with water now and then while they bake.
If you enjoy cooking your own bread, then you may want to consider investing in high quality baking pans or tins. A true artisan bread depends on many factors, including the proper baking equipment. Many bakers use bakers stones, which are relatively inexpensive which are readily available at good cooking supply stores or here on Amazon.
Enjoy baking and don't forget to share your bread with friends and family!
Author's Note - Baking artisan style bread at home is a wonderfully rewarding, but is more suited to the cook with moderate experience.