Saturday, December 19, 2009

Baking No-Knead Artisan Bread At Home

(NAPSI)-Artisan bread that is handcrafted in small batches has become a popular purchase at farmer's markets, bakeries and specialty stores.

While a traditional store-bought loaf might have 20 ingredients, bakery artisan bread will start with only the basics, then be customized with the addition of fresh and simple, flavorful ingredients such as cheese, olive oil or herbs. These delicious, crusty loaves can be enjoyed every day, but their distinctive flavor and appearance can also add a special touch when entertaining.

It's easier than you might imagine to make fresh and authentic artisan bread at home. Specialty bread mixes can help you re-create the delicious flavor and distinctive crust of artisan bread but with much less work. For example, Krusteaz Supreme bread mixes, which come in several delectable flavors, don't even require kneading. And you can store the unbaked dough in the refrigerator for up to three days until you have time for rising.

At you can find a step-by-step instructional video that shows you how to make artisan bread, complete with its delicious crust, in five easy steps. The site also offers tips on how to customize your basic bread recipe with simple additions or toppings. For example, you can flavor bread by simply topping with kosher salt or adding chopped herbs to the dough before baking.

Create Your Own

Use Krusteaz's White, Sourdough and Italian Herb mixes to create these specialty breads:

• Rosemary Parmesan Bread: Add ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese to the dry mix; sprinkle finely chopped rosemary on top of the loaf before baking.

• Sun-Dried Tomato Bread: Mix in two tablespoons finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the dry mix and then bake as directed.

• Decorating the bread can also make it distinctive. Cutting a pretty pattern into the crust is an easy way to impress company, and easy-to-follow directions can be found on the site.

Bread Baking Tips

• To make sure bread rises, be sure to add yeast as directed and measure the temperature of the water used.

• If dough looks uneven or bumpy, simply add water a tablespoon at a time until dough forms into a smooth round ball.

• For a crunchy crust, make sure to remove the bread from the pan to cool.

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