Sunday, October 11, 2009

Adventures in Bread Making

A while back I read a book called "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" and was greatly intrigued by the process described. But since the method involved putting aside my beloved bread machine in order to shape the bread by hand and bake it in the oven, the experiment had to await weather cool enough to run the oven without fainting from heat stroke.

The idea is that you skip all the kneading, multiple rises, punching down, etc. Simply slop all the ingredients into a covered container of some sort, let it sit out for a few hours, and then pop it into the fridge. Over the next two weeks you can then pull off a piece of whatever size you want, shape it, and then bake it for about 30 minutes.

Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?

Well, I mixed up a bucket of dough Friday. That took about 10 minutes. Then this morning I pulled off a small piece, shaped it into this boule, let it sit out for 30 minutes, slashed the top, and baked it for 30 minutes.

My little boule not only looks and tastes great, but it is also LITTLE, a major asset when baking bread for one's own single self. Here's a pic of it sitting next to an ordinary table knife (okay, I had eaten a slice or two).

You can see how small it is. Just enough bread to keep me going for 2-3 days, and then I can bake up another loaf.

According to the authors, this approach works because the dough is extremely wet, so it behaves differently than traditional bread dough. Certainly the recipes are different – about twice as much water as I would typically use. But who can argue with success? It's quick, it's easy, and it produces great bread.


Knitting Linguist said...

We loved that book! (I recognized that boule as soon as I saw it.) I think I'll need to buy it at some point, but it turned out that we were going through that bread a lot quicker than you -- four of us means that one loaf about does us for a nice soup dinner...

Kath said...

Oh yay! I'm so glad that worked. I'll see if I can get my hands on the book again. But did it use any ingredients I can't get locally?

Delighted Hands said...

It looks so tasty! I will give up a lot in the food department, but freshly baked bread is not one of them!!! What a great idea to make it individual loaves!

Life Looms Large said...

That book sounds interesting.

And the bread looks yummy!!



Marjorie said...

That looks delicious.

DH is the bread baker around here, and he mostly uses the bread machine, but I'll have him take a look at that. Once he sees your photo, I'm sure he will want to try it.

~Phyllis~ said...

Glad you posted about the book.
I love homemade bread. Sounds like a much easier way to make bread.