Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day


Baking bread is often thought of as a time-consuming exercise, best tackled after one is retired.  Not so with this technique.  You can mix together enough for 4 loaves of bread on the weekend, store the dough in your fridge and bake the loaves through the week.

The recipe suggests making a single round loaf with a grapefruit-sized piece of dough.  That is a small loaf, but cut into six wedges, is enough to serve our family of five as a side with dinner.  You could take a slightly larger piece of dough and form a short baquette shape, as pictured above.  The beauty of baking small loaves is that there are no leftovers.  Bake a new loaf tomorrow!

There are many other delightful possibilites for using this dough--pizza crust, flatbread, rolls, sweet breads, buns.  For more variations check out the posts at http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com.


Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day
From the book by Jeff Hertzberg, MD and Zoe Francois
Adapted from the version reprinted by Kathleen Flinn in The Kitchen Counter Cooking School
Makes about 4 one-pound loaves

3 cups warm water (about 100 degrees F)
1 1/2 Tblsp yeast (2 packets)
1 Tblsp salt
6 1/2 cups (32 oz) white flour (use CUP4CUP for a gluten-free version)
Cornmeal (optional)

In a 5 quart plastic food container with a lid, combine the water, yeast and salt.  Stir to mix.  Add all the flour at once and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough is wet and sticky with no dry patches.  Cover, but don't seal airtight, and allow to rise for 2 hours at room temperature.

If you are not baking the first loaf immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

On baking day, set out a piece of parchment paper on a pizza stone and dust with cornmeal (optional). Make a loaf by lightly sprinkling flour on the surface of the dough.  Scoop up a grapefruit-sized piece.  Form a loaf by rubbing it with a layer of flour while smoothing the top and tucking the edges under the bottom for a smooth round shape.  Set the loaf on the parchment paper and let rise for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Place one rack in the center and another underneath.  Set a broiler pan with 2 cups of water on the lower rack.  Slide the parchment paper with the loaf off of the pizza stone.  Put the pizza stone on the top rack to heat.  Set the timer for another 20 minutes.

After the timer rings, dust the top of the loaf with flour and slash the top with a cross or three lines with a sharp knife.  Transfer the loaf by picking up the edges of the parchment and setting it on the hot pizza stone in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes until the crust is brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.  Cool and serve.




1 comment:

  1. My family enjoyed this bread. It's good and hardy. I went ahead and baked all of it and froze what we could no immediately eat. I did have question. Is it possible to just keep the mix in the refrigerator if not used all at once?

    ReplyDelete