My Christmas yesterday was fabulous, thanks to my wonderful husband who gave me the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking.
I’d read about this book in several places, including Growing Up Gabel. The concept was so weird, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it, which is why the authors’ web site just wasn’t getting it done for me. But now that I’ve read the book, I understand and I can’t wait to try it.
Here’s the concept in a nutshell: Mix together one big batch of dough until just combined. Without kneading, let it rise for a couple of hours, then store it in the fridge. When you’re ready to bake, cut off a piece of dough, shape it, let it rise, and then bake it.
The master recipe is based on the proportions of 6-3-3-13: 6 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of yeast, 3 tablespoons of salt, and 13 cups of flour. It’s supposed to be a very wet dough, and will become a little tangy – like sourdough – the longer it sits in the fridge. The baking instructions involve using a pizza peel, a baking stone, and a pan of water to create steam in the oven.
I like to bake in my temperamental small top oven (to minimize energy usage), so I’m going to have to do some experimenting to see what works. I’m anticipating quite a few misses, but my plan is to eventually have a routine going where I mix up the dough every one or two weeks, and then bake up a small loaf every day or two.
The authors have a newer book out called Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients.Once I’ve mastered techniques in the original book, I’m going to pick this one up because I’d really prefer to be eating whole grains.
I’ll keep you updated as I experiment with bread-making. I’m planning to get started this coming week 🙂
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