Martha Bakes: Decorative Breads Episode | PBS Food

Martha Bakes: Decorative Breads Episode

MBAK-1003-Decorative-Breads Martha Bakes More Episodes

With Martha Bakes, discover Martha Stewart’s tips and techniques to create delectable baked goods. Be sure to check your local listings to see when the program will be airing in your area.


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Today on Martha Bakes, take your bread baking skills to the next level with everything you need to know to make three boulangerie quality breads: a crusty golden brown artisanal boule, a unique “edible landscape” onion and leek focaccia, and a buttery, multi-layered brioche feuilletée. Breads so remarkable your family and friends won’t believe you baked them yourself!

This Week’s Recipe

Artisan Boule

Make Martha Stewart's Artisan Boule from the Decorative Breads episode of Martha Bakes.



  • Poolish:
  • 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (not rapid-rise)
  • 1/3 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 1/2 cup unbleached bread flour
  • Dough:
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast (not rapid-rise)
  • 1 2/3 cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups ice cubes, for creating steam in oven


  1. Poolish: In a small bowl, stir together yeast, water, and bread flour until it has the consistency of thick pancake batter. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature 8 to 12 hours.
  2. Dough: In a liquid-measuring cup, stir together yeast and water until yeast is dissolved. Place poolish and both flours in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add yeast mixture and mix on medium-low speed until a sticky dough forms, about 2 minutes. Add salt and increase speed to medium-high; mix until dough is smooth and elastic, and cleans sides and bottom of bowl, about 9 minutes. Scrape dough onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball with oiled hands, then transfer to a large oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, pat dough into a 12-by-10-inch rectangle with one short side parallel to edge of work surface. Fold dough into thirds, aligning edges carefully. Fold dough in half. This completes one turn. Flip dough so seams are facing downward and gently shape into a ball. Return to oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees with a pizza stone on center rack, and a cast-iron skillet on rack below. Be sure to remove any additional racks from oven.
  5. Place a sheet of parchment on a pizza peel or unrimmed baking sheet and lightly dust with flour; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, repeat folding process to complete a second turn. Gather corners of dough and pinch together, then flip dough over, shaping into a tight ball. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to prepared pizza peel, adjusting shape as needed. Loosely cover with oiled plastic. Let stand in a warm spot until puffy and full of air, about 45 minutes.
  6. Lightly dust surface of bread with flour. Using an oiled razor blade or a very sharp knife, score surface in a decorative pattern. Working as quickly as possible, carefully slide parchment from peel onto pizza stone. Pull just enough of heated skillet out of oven to add ice before closing oven door. Bake until bread is deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into center reads 205 degrees, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

Yield: Makes one 10-in loaf


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