Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is a book that I have heard about numerous times in the past few months.

Being that I enjoy making bread, I checked the book out from my library a month or so ago and proceeded to...barely read it, let alone make anything from it.

Then the other day I picked up a copy of Mother Earth News and lo and behold they also had a feature article on the Artisan bread book. I read the article (which included a recipe and how-to) and decided to give it a shot.

If you haven't heard of the book or the concept behind it - it's a basic dough (yeast/water/salt/flour) that you can leave in your fridge for up to 2 weeks. No kneading is required! Whenever you want some fresh bread all you do is cut off a hunk of dough, shape it, let it sit for 40 min, pop it in the oven and 40 minutes later it's done!

I've tried the recipe two times...once exactly as the recipe is written, the second time I used part whole wheat flour and part white flour.

The bread was delicious! The boy even thought the whole wheat version was better than the all white version :)

Pros - the recipe is easy to follow, makes fresh bread daily a reality, tastes great, smells great, nice hard crust, chewy inside.

Cons - not everyone has the extra space in their fridge to hold a large container of dough for 2 weeks, the crust is hard so it's not for the weak-0f-teeth, the rounded loaves are pretty small (you're only supposed to cut off a hunk dough the size of a grapefruit for each loaf...not sure what would happen if you used a larger hunk...maybe it wouldn't cook properly??).

Supposedly the longer the dough "ferments" in the fridge - the better it tastes and the better it rises. I did notice that my mixed flour bread didn't rise as well and spread out more on the cookie sheet.


CanadianGrandma said...

Sounds like sour dough, so my grandmother used to say. I MAY give it a try altho' I prefer my old way of doing it.

Heather said...

We tried the recipe in Mother Earth News--it is slightly wrong, the book version comes out much better. We went ahead and got the book because I bake all our bread and the kids loved being able to bake it themselves and I loved not kneading it or using a bread maker. The book explains a lot more about it, like to get rid of the thick crust, remove the pan of water, to soften it add a bit of oil, and so on and so forth. The dough never lasts more than a day in our fridge--my kids are big bread eaters/ makers and will make up a new batch themselves (the recipe book is VERY easy to follow and has recipes for everything from pizza dough to donuts.)

Jennifer said...

This is definitely going on my library list! I hope they have it.

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