Friday, February 17, 2012

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread


The Lord’s Prayer, as taught to us by our Savior, seems simplistic on the surface – yet is profound and multi-faceted in its message. One of the petitioning lines of this prayer has always intrigued me: ‘Give us this day, our daily bread’. Although this sentence of supplication speaks to our daily, physical needs, it has a connotation of so much more. In response to our asking, not only does He care for us in this earthly life, but also in our eternal life. In this sense our ‘daily bread’ most certainly pertains to His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Eucharist. In asking for such a simple staple, we also accept His admonition to be like little children and to come to Him with a child-like innocence of spirit. We are to enter His presence with trust, faith, hope and love. As God’s children, we look to Him for our very basic needs as well – sustenance for our physical bodies.
Today I share a recipe for earthly bread. In baking it, I give Him the glory and marvel at His wonderful world in which I live. Simple ingredients –  water, flour, yeast, and salt – become sustenance for our earthly bodies as well as a source of great enjoyment!

So here goes:

I love baking bread so when I found this recipe for Artisan bread I was intrigued. First off, knowing that the root of the word is 'art', I had to do some research and find out exactly what it is (and how you say it)...I know, I'm a bit of a nerd that way ;-) Artisan bread is best described by thinking about the person who makes the bread. Compare an artisan baker to other familiar craftspersons. They know how to combine their materials to build something strong and at the same time delicate or elegant. You can tell a true hand crafted bread from one that is just called artisan by looking at the ingredients. There shouldn't be anything in bread besides flour, water salt and yeast. If the bread is made with a sourdough there may not even be yeast in the ingredients. It wasn't necessary to add chemicals to bread for centuries and it still isn't. As for the pronunciation, it's - ar' te zen

Now for the recipe:

This recipe makes enough for four 1-pound loaves and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, so you can have fresh bread any time you want. Bake it unadorned as a Crusty Boule, or roll ingredients into the refrigerated dough to create sweet and savory loaves.
3 1/2 cups lukewarm water
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 teaspoons coarse salt
7 1/4 cups (2 lb. 4 oz.; 1027.67 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour (measure using scoop and sweep method)


  1. 1. Combine water, yeast and salt in large bowl. With spoon (or mixer with paddle attachment), stir in flour (dough will be wet).
  2. 2. Place dough in 5-quart lidded container; cover with lid (do not snap airtight). Let rise at room temperature 2 hours. Refrigerate overnight or up to 14 days.
Makes enough dough for 4 (1-lb.) loaves.

Crusty Boule

(pronounced - bool, French for ball)
This classic European-style loaf has a crisp crust 
and hearty crumb. It’s perfect as an everyday bread to serve with soups and salads or just a slice of cheese.

Begin with a 1-lb. (grapefruit-size) portion of the Master Dough above.
  1. Hold dough and dust top with flour; quickly shape into ball by stretching surface of dough around to bottom on all four sides, rotating dough a quarter turn as you go.
  2. Place dough on pizza stonel or baking sheet liberally sprinkled with cornmeal or lined with parchment paper; cover loosely with lightly floured plastic wrap. Let stand in warm draft-free place 1 hour or until dough is slightly puffed and no longer chilled.
  3. Thirty minutes before baking, place baking stone on center oven rack; place empty broiler pan on bottom oven rack. Heat oven to 450°F.
  4. Dust loaf with flour. With serrated knife, make 2 or 3 (1/4-inch-deep) slashes in top of loaf. Slide loaf (with parchment paper, if using) onto baking stone. Immediately pour 1 cup hot water into broiler pan; quickly close oven door to trap steam.
  5. Bake 30 minutes or until deep golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when tapped on bottom. Cool completely on wire rack.
Nets 1  loaf of crusty bread...slice, spread with butter and enjoy - crunch!



For an alternate use for this dough check out What do You do on Sunday?, for a delicious Nutella Ring variation!

See more of my posts at Catholic Sistas


*Thanks to ''Cooking Club'' magazine for this wonderful recipe!