I love artisan bread.
I LOVE having my own dough at all times to use as a base for whatever I feel like making.
I LOVELOVELOVE that it takes me a whopping 2 minutes a day to keep that fresh bread dough in my kitchen.
First, let's take about overnight bread.
The premise here is simple. You mix the ingredients together, cover it, and set it aside overnight. In the morning you have a soft, easy bread dough ready to go. Pizza crust, cinnamon rolls, monkey bread, a round of artisan bread, or a loaf of crusty, yummy, hearty bread. Sky's the limit.
The first time you make this bread, you will need a little yeast.
3 cups flour
2 cups water
1 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt
Stir it all together. It will be dry and shaggy. Cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Set in a warm, safe spot for 12-24 hours. I put mine on top on the refrigerator.
Now the dough will be very soft, even runny. If it is too soft, work in a little flour.
Pinch off a small amount and put it in a clean bowl. Set it aside.
Heat a covered casserole in the oven at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Dump the dough into the dish, cover it and bake for 30 minutes. It will come out looking like a beautifully handcrafted artisan bread.
For cinnamon rolls, roll the dough out into a rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Roll and slice.
Lay out slices on a baking tray. Let rise 15 minutes.
Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.
Glaze if desired.
For pizza crust, work the dough into a circle or rectangle on a baking tray with your hands.
Top with sauce, cheese, and topping. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Cool slightly, slice and serve warm.
For monkey bread, pinch off small pieces. Dip in melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar. Pile into baking dish. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes until gooey. Serve warm.
If you don't want to use the dough at the moment, put it in a zippered freezer bag and pop it into the fridge or freezer. When you are ready to use it, let it thaw if frozen and use as above.
Now, return to your starter in the clean bowl.
Add 3 cups of flour and 2 cups of water. Stir until just mixed. Dough will be dry and shaggy. Cover with a clean towel, and place in a warm, safe spot for 12-24 hours.
Repeat every day.