Okay, I’ll admit I’m a gal who gets pretty excited about bread. Maybe even more so than most people. But I really think this is a bread to rouse the masses! I mean, I feel religion calling, this is so revolutionary.
What’s the big deal? It’s called “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” and it will rock your world. I’ll admit I haven’t actually read the book yet, since I’m on the waiting list at the library for it (though I’m sincerely tempted to go buy it), but the “master recipe” is available online (and below), and the website I linked to above has many variations to try as well.
After doing sourdough for years, this is a big about-face for me, and one that I’m ready for given that I will soon be tandem nursing and crying over un-co-ordinated nap schedules (Tiny Baby is due late September). It really did take about 5 minutes last night to mix up the dough, and maybe another 5 minutes today to tear off a chunk, form it into a ball, let it rest for a couple of hours and then bake it.
I should also mention that my 2-year-old daughter and I almost polished off half the little loaf in one sitting, it was that good.
So, without further ado, here’s the recipe that could very well change your life.
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: Master Recipe
6 1/2 cups (32.5 oz) white all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp yeast
1 1/2 tbsp coarse salt
3 cups lukewarm water
Stir together the dry ingredients and then mix in the water. Stir until everything is hydrated–no dry spots–and then let it sit out for 2-5 hours, covered but not necessarily air-tight.
Stick in the fridge at least overnight. 2 hours before you want to bake, cut off a “grapefruit-sized ball” with a serrated knife. Form into a boule with a nice rounded shape and a tight surface and let that sit either in a pan or on a cornmeal dusted board for 2 hours. After an hour and a half, start pre-heating your oven to 450 degrees F with a baking stone inside, and below that, an oven-safe metal pan to be used as a steam pan.
At the 2 hour mark, slash your loaf, stick it in the oven, and pour about a cup of boiling water into your steam pan. Let it bake for around 20 to 30 minutes. It is done when the crust is nicely browned and it gives a lovely hollow sound when you knock on the bottom of the loaf.
To be good and frugal, consider roasting some veggies or apples alongside your loaf, or bung up a cake for after dinner. Though no one will want cake at a meal where you serve this bread. They’ll just want more bread.
Then smile knowing you still have enough dough waiting in the fridge to make at least 3 more loaves!