We learned how to to the 6 strand Challah bread braid which looks super impressive, but is actually fairly easy. Here is a YouTube video to help you out!
But I think my favorite thing we learned, was how to make the most effing delicious artisan bread that ever was. Get ready to have your life changed!
Artisan Crack Bread
1/4 t yeast
1 1/2 C warm water
3 C white flour
1 1/2 t salt
In a large bowl dissolve yeast in water. Stir in flour and salt until mixed. The dough should be sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough sit at room temp for at least 8 hours, but it's better to let it rest for 12-18 hours (The easiest thing to do, it make the dough the night before you wanna bake it). The dough is ready when the surface has little bubbles.
Use a spoon to lightly pull dough away from the bowl. Sprinkle dough with a bit of flour and fold it over once or twice.
Using just enough flour on your hands to keep the dough from sticking to you, gently shape the dough into a ball. Place the dough back in the bowl seam side down.
Cover with plastic wrap again and let it sit for 1 1/2-2 hours more.
During the last 20 min, place a 6-8 qt pot (cast iron, pyrex, enamel, ceramic) in oven and preheat to 475 degrees.
Plop the dough into your scalding pot seam side up.
Replace the lid and put your death pot back in the oven.
Bake for 18 min.
Remove lid and bake for 10 more min.
Remove your lovely little loaf and cool on cooling rack.
OR, remove your lovely little loaf and put on cooling rack and burn your fingers while trying to eat it as soon as possible.
There are multiple variations you could do:
One that LaRene showed us was bomb.com. It's the Carrabba's Herb Mix with butter and it makes for an amazing crust.
Carrabba's Herb Mix
1 t crushed pepper
1 t ground black pepper
1 t dried oregano
1 t dried rosemary
1 t dried basil
1 t dried parsley
1 t granulated garlic
1 t minced garlic
1 t kosher salt
Combine all in whatever dish you find appropriate. I used a sandwich baggy.
Melt 1/4 C butter.
Add about half of the herb mix to melted butter.
When you take your hot pot outta the oven to put the dough in it, add a little of the butter/herb mix to the bottom of the pot before putting your dough in. Once you have the dough in the pot, pour the rest of the butter/herb mix over it. Then bake according to the directions.