Who DOESN'T love a loaf of warm crusty artisan bread?... Not me! I have an addiction to good bread, and for someone that enjoys baking more than anything else, bread tops everything. Artisan bread though is a bit tricky... the hours behind making the sourdough, finding (or not finding, in my case) dutch ovens, the complications, the general lack of patience in this fast-paced world.. crusty artisan bread is something I'd always opt to buy rather than actually make. UNTIL this recipe came into hand. I'll admit; I had my doubts and thought it'd end up more like a giant scone than an actual loaf of good bread. But, not all things are too good to be true -- this recipe is not only obscenely simple, but requires only 5 ingredients and comes together in an hour from start to finish.
1½ cups warm water
1 tablespoon honey
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoons Active Dry Yeast
3½ - 4½ cups flour
Sesame and nigela seeds to decorate
Combine the water, honey, salt and yeast in a glass bowl. Let them sit for about 10 minutes until the mixture foams at the top. 5
Next, add flour gradually and mix with a wooden spoon. Once the dough is too thick to mix with the spoon, go in with your hands and knead until dough becomes a ball and stops sticking to your hands.
On a lined sheet pan, form the dough into a loaf shape (a large one, or two smaller ones, based on your preference). Cover dough with a towel and let it sit on the counter for about 20 mins. While it rests, pre-heat the oven to 200.C.
With a sharp knife, make diagonal slits in the dough. You can bake it as it is, or sprinkle sesame and / or nigella seeds over the top to decorate.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until bread starts to brown at the top.
Serve hot, or enjoy cold. [Store in a plastic bag or container.]