Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Latest Culinary Adventure: Artisan Bread


I've been hearing great things about a cook book called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I finally purchased it and gave it a try.  The loaf below is for the most basic recipe and I can tell you it was a big hit with my family.  There wasn't a crumb left 20 minutes after we sliced into it with dinner and there is only three of us.

My loaf - Looks Great!
The concept of the book is very simple.  Instead of taking a few hours to make a loaf of bread in your home from scratch, this book simplifies everything. The results seem to be even better than what you get when you go to all the work of kneading and rising and resting and so forth.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg MD and Zoe Francois
The dough is a light, wet dough so you can simply mix it up with a wooden spoon.  There is no kneading. Instead of letting it rise in a warm place and coming back to check on it, you pop it in the frig and leave it.  A day or even two weeks later you come back and cut off a portion of the dough, quickly shape it (in your hands--you don't even need to get your counter messy), let it rise on a pizza peel, cut a pretty pattern into the loaf and then pop it into your oven on a hot baking stone.  You pour some hot tap water into a broiler pan for steam and let it bake.  You get a loaf that is crusty on the outside and luscious and flavorful on the inside. And the lovely thing is the longer you leave the dough the more it develops a sourdough flavor.

Dough quickly formed and resting on the pizza peel
The book says 5 minutes a day minus the time the bread is rising and baking and doing it's own thing.  I'm not even sure it took that long.  The 5 minutes must include the small amount of clean up time or time to add the extra ingredients or rolling out time needed in some of the more complex recipes.  They allow 15 minutes on the day you mix the dough--several loaves worth at a time to bake as needed.  I think that only took me about 5 minutes.  I can't wait to try some of the other recipes.  Commercial loaves of rye bread never have enough caraway seeds for my taste.  I'm going to load my artisan rye down with caraway seeds.

Oops
There was a little mishap with the first loaf.  My old pizza stone cracked.  For any fan of Dr. Who reading this you'll see that the Crack in the Universe came to my house.

Sue



18 comments:

  1. Oooh, your loaf does look good! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I love the smell of fresh baked bread!! Yummy!!

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  3. Looks like a great book and the bread looks delicious!

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  4. I can't believe you got such a luscious looking loaf of bread with so few instructions! I am throwing away the bread machine!

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  5. Oh my goodness, that looks and sounds so yummy!

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  6. That sounds like a great cookbook!! Watching our weight in my house would definitely be more of a chore! :)

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  7. Looks delicious! I miss having homemade bread.

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  8. Sue - you are such an expert! I cringe at any recipe with yeast in it! The bread looks gorgeous.

    ♥♥♥
    Sue

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    1. Yeast is easy, Sue. As long as it's not expired and you don't kill it by adding water that is too hot it will be perfectly fine. I test the water temp on my wrist just like people test milk out of a baby bottle. Just over body temp is fine, but any more is too hot.

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  9. Your loaf is so lovely! Thank you for trying the recipe. Enjoy, Zoë

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    1. Thanks so much, Zoe. It's a wonderful book.

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  10. Ok, you've got me hooked. As I've said before, if I'm stranded on a desert island, give me a loaf of good bread and butter to survive on. this looks delish!

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  11. OK, now I have to get that book! (I keep telling Becky she needs to find out how to make a fresh-baked bread candle!)

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  12. Your loaf turned out beautiful!!! Have fun trying all the recipes...and then you will have to get the Healthy Bread in 5 next and try the Brioche recipe...one of our absolute favs!! :)

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  13. It sounds so much easier and faster. The bread looks yummy!!

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  14. What happened to cause the crack in the universe? Book looks great , will check it out.

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    1. It was an old pizza stone that I hadn't used since we moved. The movers aren't know for handling things delicately.

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  15. It looks so awesome. Like the pain d' champaign at Wegman's that cost over 3.00!!

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