Monday, January 26, 2009
Boy! It was a chilly weekend! Bitter winds again kept me from my morning walk, but I managed to keep busy. At the suggestion of fellow blogger Karen of Karen Cooks, and many other blogs praising this bread book, I just had to pick up a copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.
I'm so impressed with the ease of this recipe and that you can make a full batch up --stored in the refrigerator--and still have two weeks to use it up! I seldom set the time aside to make breads..but I love to eat them :D I altered my recipe just a bit with the addition of a half cup of wheat flour and so very pleased with the results. The crust is exactly the way I like it--crisp but easily torn and perfect for dipping into a pot of Sunday sauce! And toasted this morning with rosehip jam will never be the same! Yum!
If you're a first time breadmaker pick up this wonderful book. Making your first bread will keep you warm on these chilly days, I promise :D My second loaf is in the oven right now.. rosemary, garlic and sage.. more yum! Thanks for this great suggestion Karen :)
Master Bread Recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes
Makes 4 -1 pound Loaves
Printed With Permission
3 Cups Lukewarm Water
1 1/2 Tablespoons Granulated Yeast (1 1/2 Packages)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
6 1/2 Cups Unsifted, Unbleached, All-purpose White Flour **** this is where I sub in the ½ cup wheat flour of this total 6 ½ cups white flour called for.
Warm the water slightly. It should feel just a little warmer than body temperature, about 100 degrees F. Add the yeast and salt to the water in a 5 quart bowl, or preferably, in a re-sealable, lidded plastic food container. Mix in the flour, no kneading necessary. Add all of the flour at once, mixing with a wooden spoon, a high capacity food processor, or heavy duty stand mixer until the mixture is uniform, or until everything is uniformly moist, without dry patches.
Cover the container with a lid (not airtight), and allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it collapses, about 2 hours. You can use a portion of the dough to make bread at any time after this step. Since refrigerated dough is less sticky to shape, it is best to refrigerate the dough overnight (or at least 3 hours) before you try making the bread for the first time. Refrigerate the unused dough in your lidded container for up to two weeks.
On baking day, first prepare a baking peel by sprinkling it with cornmeal to prevent sticking. Sprinkle your refrigerated dough with flour and pull off a 1 pound chunk. Add a little more flour, and pull the dough on all sides around to the bottom creating a ball. This step should not take longer than 30 to 60 seconds.
Allow the dough to rise on the pizza peel for about 40 minutes. It does not need to be covered at this point. It may not rise much before baking, so do not be concerned. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. with a baking stone on the center rack. Place an empty container to hold water on the rack below the pizza stone.
Dust the top of the bread with a little more flour, and slash a 1/4 inch deep cross, or tic-tac toe pattern into the top using a serrated bread knife. Slip the bread from the pizza peel onto the hot pizza stone. Pour in about a cup of hot water into the container below the stone and close the oven door to trap the steam. Bake the bread for about 30 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch. Allow the bread to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Then see if you can resist slicing off that first warm piece with a pad of homemade butter.. irresistable!