Monday, March 09, 2009

Five Minute Fantastic Bread

I was perusing blogs last week when I came across a very interesting post that talked about making bread the easy way. Being one that loves to eat but doesn't like to spend too much time actually making the food, my interest was peaked (I don't remember what blog I found it on). I ordered the book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking, and was thrilled with the small amount of work involved. You spend about 20 minutes making your main dough once a week (or every two weeks depending on how much you make), stick it in a bowl, and then slice off grapefruit size sections each time you want a fresh loaf. This is where the 5 minutes comes in. The bowl goes in the fridge and refrigerated dough lasts up to 14 days. It's that easy.

I set out to buy what I needed yesterday. We already have a pizza stone (which you don't absolutely have to have), so I all I needed was a big bag of unbleached flour, fresh yeast and some corn meal. And of course wouldn't you know there are even a few YouTube videos on the prep including one that shows you what to do if you don't want to buy an expensive baking stone.

As you can see below, I got so excited about this gorgeous little loaf, I forgot to take a photo until it was almost all gone!

I am looking forward to making the other types of bread and I couldn't be more thrilled with the method. I highly recommend the book if you love bread and you like EASY. I plan on buying the special 1 cup measuring cups for ease of measuring and a large plastic container for the flour as I received a nasty paper cut while measuring. Youch!

Here is a video of how to place the loaf on a cookie sheet. Notice, she has no baker's peel either. I didn't use a peel because I don't have one, but my method needs improvement as I flipped the loaf upside down when I transferred it onto the preheated pizza stone.

Peels are expensive and most people don't have them. However I plan on buying one and I found a relatively inexpensive place to order one at Katom. If you make pizza, buy one that is big enough to fit a pizza as they come in different sizes.

I learned from the book that ovens can be off by as much as 70 degrees, which is why the book suggests buying an oven thermometer. Well wouldn't you know, our oven is off by 60 degrees at 450!