11 September, 2012

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

In the past the idea of making artisan bread in five minutes a day would have been scoffed at.  Women routinely spent a large part of their morning mixing, kneading and baking for the day.  Bread used to be considered the “staff of life”.  For decades the dinner table was not complete without a fragrant loaf of homemade bread, dinner rolls, muffins, biscuits, or breadsticks.
Then manufactured bread came along and the flavorful loaves were replaced by tasteless fluff.  The new bread was easy, convenient, and saved the homemaker time.  Over time manufacturers added chemicals and other non-traditional ingredients until this once nutritious food became an amalgamated mass of refined carbohydrates flavored with high fructose corn syrup.

The choices are to find the time to create those homemade, fragrant loaves or to buy the commercial stuff. 
Now there is a third choice.  What if you could create a variety of healthy, homemade breads in five minutes per day?
Now you can.

(c)marye audet 2009
(c)marye audet 2009

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day Is a Technique

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is a not just a collection of excellent bread recipes.  It is a technique that will revolutionize your baking and allow you to create numerous varieties of artisan loaves in just a few minutes every day.
Basically, you are shown how to mix up a wet dough that is then allowed to rise for two or more hours.  After that initial rising time it can be kept in the refrigerator, covered, for up to a week. 
About an hour before dinner, just measure out a batch of the dough, gently shape it and let it stand for thirty minutes while the oven preheats.  Bake for twenty to thirty minutes and serve a delicious, artisan style bread with your meal.
With this technique you can mix up an entire week’s worth of bread on the weekend and have fresh, healthy bread all week.

But Does It Work?

I received this book as a gift. I have been very happy with the results.
I have enjoyed baking bread since I baked my first loaf in 1974.What I have not enjoyed is the sometimes lengthy process involved. This technique can be used easily, and with equally successful results, by anyone that can read and follow directions. With numerous variations you can have fresh bread for each meal without getting bored.
Publisher’s Weekly stated that experienced bread bakers would skip this book but as a bread baker with over 35 years experience I can tell you that experienced bread bakers will love this innovative approach as much as anyone else.
The resulting bread is not your run of the mill no-knead bread. The texture is chewy with large cavities, just like the European style loaves from your favorite bakery.

Basic Recipe

The basic recipe can be found at the authors’ blog, and is as follows:
Basic Artisan Bread
  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Cornmeal for the pizza peel
  1. Mix with a spoon in a large container with a cover.
  2. Let rise at room temperature for at least two, but not more than five hours.
  3. Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, tearing off dough and baking as needed.
To Bake
  1. Preheat oven to 450F
  2. Place a pan of water in the oven. It will fill the oven with steam as it preheats.
  3. Leaving the water in place put the bread dough in the oven.
  4. Bake at 450F for about 20 minutes or until done.

Need more information? Check out Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day Blog.

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