I have recently started making a new bread recipe that is quickly becoming a favorite around my house and I wanted to share. For Christmas, my mom got me a book – “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.” Now, if you would like to get into making this bread, I would highly recommend getting the book because it is impossible for me to include in such a short newsletter all the good information contained in the book to make your bread a complete success. But, consider this a primer and if you enjoy then look into getting the book.
The premise of the bread is to make a high moisture dough which will keep for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. As the dough sits in the refrigerator it will begin to “age” and taste more soured – it reminds me alot of sour dough bread, just without a starter! So, you make up the dough recipe below, place it into a plastic container, and leave it in the refrigerator. Whenever you want to make bread, simply scoop out the amount of dough you want and cook as directed – this means I can make only 2 rolls for dinner, 1 tiny loaf of bread for the two of us, or one large loaf of bread for potluck or company. Someone says they’re coming to visit? I can have freshly made homemade bread in less than an hour’s time!
Here is the recipe for the bread and a simple way to make it. Watch the newsletter next week for more information/recipes with this same bread.
The Master Recipe: Boule
(Adapted from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day)
3 cups warm water (about 100 degrees)
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)
1 1/2 tablespoons salt (kosher or coarse salt is recommended)
6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour, measured by scooping into measuring cup (not packed!)
Mix together water, yeast, and salt in a resealable, lidded (not airtight!) plastic food container or food-grade bucket. Mix in all the flour at once – kneading is unnecessary (I know you don’t believe me, but it’s not!). Mix together with a wooden spoon or mixer until mixture is uniform. Once the dough is uniform with no dry patches, cover dough with lid that fits well (not airtight) – i.e. don’t use mason jars with screw-on lids as you could explode the jars when the bread rises!
Allow mixture to rise at room temperature for approximately two to five hours or until it begins to flatten on the top and/or collapse.
At this time, you can use a portion of the dough to cook. Or, refrigerate the covered dough until ready to use.
When you are ready to fix your bread, simply sprinkle some cornmeal on a flat pan, then sprinkle some cornmeal over the dough and dip out the amount of dough you would like. A simple round loaf of bread is easy to make. Without kneading the dough, quickly make a round loaf by slightly pulling the outer layer of the dough around to make a smooth loaf.
Place the loaf on the pan and allow to rise about 40 minutes. About 20 minutes into the rising time, turn the oven on 450 degrees and place a stone baking dish into the oven as well as an empty metal baking pan or broiler tray.
Dust the bread with flour, slash it with a knife in a cross pattern, and slide from flat pan onto ceramic baking pan in oven. Pour approximately 1 cup of water into the broiler pan and immediately close the oven to trap in the steam.
Bake at 450 degrees for about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the loaf.