Jul 25, 2008

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Wow! I can't say enough great things about this new book I bought. What are the chances to mess up such an easy recipe? Well, I did, not once but twice...So much for following instructions.
I just finished my last loaf after 7 days in the fridge. The taste was heavenly. It tasted like genuine European bakery bread. This method is so easy, a six year old could do it. The book has so many great bread and desert recipes in it that are all based on the same concept, no kneading but refrigerating. I will NEVER bake bread any other way or buy bread from the grocery store again!

3 cups warm water - 100 degrees warm

1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough

1. In a large bowl or plastic container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).

2. Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and cut off a grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.

3. Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.

4. Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.
Yield: 4 loaves.


The DINKs said...

Ummmm. Really? This seems way too simple. Will it work if you sub some of the white flour with whole wheat? This definitely seems worth a try!


Irina said...

Hi MaryBeth, here is the answer to your question. Hope this helps:


The DINKs said...

I tried it and it worked! I used the NYT article for instructions, and thought I had really screwed it up when the dough was like soup after the 18 hour rest. A little flour later, and the dough rose like a champ. I cooked mine in a dutch oven with the lid on, which negated the need to add moisture to my oven. Next time I will try cooking it in the Romertopf clay pot. Thanks for a great post!

Irina said...

I am glad it worked for you. I have been making bread (1 lb loafs) every other night. I love it!