Monday, October 19, 2009

Artisan Bread

There has been a lot of talk lately surrounding "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day", a book that came into the library for me last week! I couldn't wait to give it a try... since I'm a sucker for a good crusty bread :)



In case you haven't heard... the two Minnesotan authors wanted to bring back "real" bread baking into the standard American kitchen. If you've picked up a bread book recently, you've likely noticed that making a good bread takes hours, if not days. Who has time for that?!

The idea here is simple -- make up a batch of bread. Let it rise for a few hours. Then, refrigerate it for up to 14 days and use as you need. Fresh bread, anytime of the day, in just minutes. There is a little rise time factored in... but you can literally shape your loaf in less than 5 minutes, let is rise and bake while you're doing other things, and have a fantastic loaf of fresh bread.

This is prefect for Frog Prince and I since we can just take off a small hunk and make a loaf for dinner. No more stale bread for us :)

While I haven't tried it yet -- they have a fresh sandwich bread too... :) I think I'm in love.

There's just something about a delicious, yeasty bread, that makes me go weak in the knees.



We made one of the peasant-breads to start... yummy!

Peasant Bread - Adapted from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

1 1/2 C warm water
3/4 T yeast
1/2 T salt
1/2 C whole wheat flour
2 3/4 C white flour

In a large lidded container (~4 liters for this batch), pour 1 1/2 C warm water (about 100 degrees F).

Add in the yeast and salt and allow the yeast to dissolve (it's okay if not all of it dissolves).



Then, scoop in and level off your flour with the flat side of a knife.



It's important that you don't compact the flour during this process.

Next, add the flour to the water mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula to combine until all the flour is moist.





The dough will be rather moist, and there is no need to knead! If you do need to use your hands to mix in the last of the flour, make sure your hand is wet... otherwise you'll be one sticky goobery mess.



Close the lid, although don't make it airtight ... the gasses building up wouldn't be so excellent if that was the case.



Let the dough rest in your kitchen for 2-4 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. The dough is ready to be refrigerated when it has risen and is either (1) falling back in on itself, or (2) flat at the top (i.e., no dome shape to the rising dough).





Then, move the dough into the fridge.

Yep, it's as easy as that.


When you're ready to bake (you need about 1 hour before you're ready to eat)....

1) Dump a tiny bit of flour into the container with your dough and cut off a piece for your bread. The authors say a piece about the size of a grape fruit will make ~1 lb. loaf.

2) Then, resist the need to knead! Just simply shape the dough into a circle in some additional flour or cornmeal, and place it on a cookie sheet, or wood cutting board to rise for about 30 minutes.



3) After the dough has been rising for about 15 minutes, preheat your oven to 450. If you have a baking stone, preheat your oven with the baking stone in it.

4) After about 30ish minutes, cut an "x" in the top of the dough, if you wish.



5) Fill a pan with 1 C hot water and place it under the wrack where you'll place the bread in the oven.




6) Then, slide the dough into the oven either on the cookie sheet or onto the preheated baking stone, and quickly shut the oven door. The steam from the water is essential to making a crispy crust.

7) Bake at 450 for ~30 minutes, depending on the size of the bread loaf. Bread will be browned and hard when ready.

8) Allow the bread to cool before eating.





Enjoy!

This recipe makes ~2 1 lb. loaves. It is half of the original recipe -- which makes 4 1 lb. loaves. To get 4 loaves worth of bread, double the recipe here.

This recipe is linked to Mouthwatering Mondays.

19 comments:

  1. How many loaves does a batch make?

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  2. I think homemade bread right now sounds GREAT!!! Geri

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  3. I'm glad you finally got the book! I made a batch last night and everyone loved it!

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  4. Yum! I love this book, but I haven't made up a batch of dough for awhile. I guess it's time to do it again now that the weather's cool and I love having my oven on. :)

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  5. Wow. That made my stomach rumble.

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  6. You did a great job. I hope you like the bread. Even a half batch makes a lot of bread. Have a great day.

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  7. I just put this on hold at my library. I'm very excited to try the bread.

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  8. This looks great! I will definitely give it a try. I'm going over to Amazon to check on the book, too!
    Thanks for sharing! Many blessings!

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  9. oh my gosh! YUM!
    I'm dying to try making homemade bread! WOO

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  10. I've never had the confidence to tackle bread. Maybe it's time?

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  11. I LOVE this book. I was never a bread baker until I got this for Christmas last year. I have several posts on my blog about it--I am pretty passionate about ABin5! Did you know there is a brand new book out? It's Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (same authors), and it just came out on 10/27. I've made one recipe from it (Apples and Honey Whole Grain Challah) and it was FANTASTIC. I have the Healthy Bread Master Recipe dough in the fridge now, just haven't made anything from it yet.

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  12. I am trying this RIGHT NOW!!! Since your recipe makes 2 1bl loaves, do you just take half of the dough out of the container to rise before baking?

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  13. I saved this in my bloglines reader to check out "later" some time ago and can't believe it--I just made some bread like this and used a container identical to yours for storing it in my fridge!

    P.S. Thanks for your recent comment on our blog; it's fun to think that you were here once, too!

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  14. Oh, how wonderful! Perfect recipe for what I am needing for Christmas Eve now!!!!

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  15. I have my first batch in the fridge right now! This was one of my new years resolutions. :)

    I am SO glad you showed the picture of the pan of water. I have to admit that I was freaking out a little about what I was going to use for that (I used a GLASS bowl once.... oops.) but now I know exactly what I'll use :) Thanks!

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  16. I'm making this right now - and I'm SO excited! I even just ordered a dough hook for my Kitchenaid so I can make more bread. :)

    I really hope the measurements above are teaspoons and not tablespoons, though...

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Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you; especially how you're finding JOY in your kitchen.

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