Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Enough Already!

Ok, this is going to be the last post dedicated solely to baking bread via the "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" method.

So many people have requested that I share the recipe and method with them that I think the easiest way to do that is to put everything here in a post. So here goes.

Master Recipe Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: the Discovery that Revolutionizes Home Baking (Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin?s Press, Nov 2007)

The full recipe as it appears in the book provides more detail, but most home bakers will be able to get a start on five-minute a day homemade bread with this short version of the recipe.

Preparation time: 15 minutes to prepare enough dough for four loaves, to be baked over four days. Each daily loaf will average 5 minutes of active preparation time.Makes four 1-pound loaves

3 cups lukewarm water (about 100ยบ F)
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt
6 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour (no need to sift)
Cornmeal for the pizza peel.

In a 5-quart bowl, mix the yeast, water and salt. Add all the flour, then use a wooden spoon to mix until all ingredients are uniformly moist. It is not necessary to knead or continue mixing once the ingredients are uniformly moist. This will produce a loose and very wet dough.
2.Cover with a lid (not airtight). Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse, about 2 hours, but no more than 5 hours.
3. After rising, the dough can be baked immediately, or covered (non completely airtight) and refrigerated up to 14 days. The dough will be easier to work with after at least 3 hours refrigeration.
4. On baking day, prepare a pizza peel by sprinkling it liberally with cornmeal to prevent the bread from sticking when you transfer it to the oven. Uncover the dough and sprinkle the surface with flour. Pull up and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece of dough (serrated knives are best). Store the remaining dough in the bowl and refrigerate for baking at another time.
5. Hold the mass of dough in your hands and add a little more flour as needed so it won't stick. Create a smooth ball of dough by gently pulling the sides down around to the bottom, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. While shaping, most of the dusting flour will fall off. The bottom of the loaf may appear to be a collection of bunched ends, but it will flatten out during resting and baking. Shaping the loaf this way should take no more than 1 minute.
6.Place the dough on the pizza peel. Allow the loaf to rest for about 40 minutes. It does not need to be covered. The bread may not rise much during this time.
7. Twenty minutes before baking, place a pizza stone on the center rack of the oven. If you don't have a baking stone, use another baking sheet. Remove any upper racks. Place a broiler pan on a rack below the pizza stone or on the floor of the oven. Preheat oven to 450 F.
8. When the dough has rested for 40 minutes, dust the top liberally with flour, then use a serrated knife to slash a 1/4-inch-deep cross or tic-tac-toe pattern into the top.
9.Slide the loaf off the peel and onto the baking stone. Quickly but carefully pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray and close the oven door.
10.Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch. Allow the bread to cool completely, preferably on a wire cooling rack.

The following video is most helpful in visualizing the method.

This bread is so much fun to bake and eat that you will be as hooked as we are!

The book has so many wonderful recipes and we want to try them all. We found ours at Borders Bookstore, but it can also be found online at Amazon.com.

Disclaimer: I don't know either of the authors, I have no vested interest in their venture other than wishing them well and good fortune and I hope they sell tons of these wonderful books.

Now, y'all get to baking!


Anonymous said...

I am going to dig out my baking stone and get busy!
What good looking bread.

jhertz10 said...

You are much too kind. I'm Jeff Hertzberg, one of the co-authors of "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day." I too hope we sell zillions of books. Please visit us at www.artisanbreadinfive.com if you have any questions.

Jeff Hertzberg

Kerri said...

Thanks Giddy. I may have to try this. You've got Ross hooked! He's been asking questions about it and reading the Artisan Bread website. We're wondering what a baking stone looks like. Guess we should Google it.
We watched the video this morning and really enjoyed it :) They sure make it look easy.
My mouth was watering looking at that delicious soup too!
It's fun to see the breads and read about them...so don't stop posting about them!!
I'm glad you got a break from shoveling snow last week!
How was your hike?

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I am going to try this this weekend, you've made it seem so simple.
The only problem is that I will eat the whole thing~ with butter of course.
Maybe I should wait a few pounds more...

Anonymous said...

Hi Giddy,

Thanks again for sharing this with your readers. I look forward to hearing about all of their experiences with the bread!

Enjoy! Zoe Francois