Dec 26, 2009

How was your Christmas? Mine was all about Artisan Bread

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 :)

Disclosure: I'm an Amazon affiliate, so any purchase you make after entering Amazon through a link on Chief Family Officer supports this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you!


Some Lucky Dog said...

Merry Christmas! I'm really interested in hearing how this goes. We don't eat a lot of bread,but having a small loaf of fresh bread each day would be amazing! I'd love it for toast and sandwiches. I'm wondering if the recipe could be halved and still work...any thoughts?

Chief Family Officer said...

Yes! You should be able to halve or even quarter the recipe. Let me know if you try it!