"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." Angela Schwindt

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day

Today I wanted to tell you about a book I got for Christmas from my sister!  The book is called "Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day".

I saw this book for the first on a blog months ago.  Then I would see someone else post about how in love they were with the book, and I checked out the website for the book, and I just had to have it!  I love to make bread.  I have had a bread maker for years and I use it ALOT.  Especially in the summer when we were eating a lot more sandwiches.  My breadmaker stays on my counter all the time.  I really did not think that breadmaking could get any easier than using a bread maker.  I think I was wrong!!!!  If you like to make bread or even if you just like to eat bread you really should check out this book!!  I really think anyone, even the person who HATES to bake could make yummy bread with this book and not get stressed out about it.

I read the first few chapters (the getting started ones) in the evening of Christmas Day after all our family had gone home.  I knew there was some minor equipment requirements I needed to check out.  Don't stress!  Nothing major.  I will tell you there are a few things that the book said you had to have that I have not gotten yet and I am doing just fine.  The things you really need to have are:  a baking stone (already had), an oven thermometer (already had), a pizza peel (had to purchase), and a 6 quart food storage container that is not airtight (had to purchase).  The things I had to purchase maybe came up to $30.  I am doing without the dough scraper mainly because I could not find one.  I have been using my amazing red Tupperware spatula nothing sticks to instead of the dough scraper.  It seems like there is something else I did not purchase but I can't think of it.

Next you gather up your ingredients.  It is a pretty basic list: unbleached flour, kosher salt, yeast, lukewarm water for the Master Recipe.  Using my heavy duty stand mixer and my dough hook I mixed up the dough.  Then I tranferred it to the container I would be storing it in using my red spatula and let it rest on the counter for two hours.  When the two hours was up I put it in the fridge!  The directions say it is best to let it sit in the refrigerator overnight before using it.  That batch of dough will yield 4 loaves of bread and keep in the fridge for 12 days!!!!!  Never had to touch the dough, never had to knead it, let it rise, knead it again, nothing!  Love that!
 The dough right after mixing.
 After two hours of rising on the counter.

On baking day you sprinkle some flour over your dough, grab out a piece of dough about the size of a grapefruit, mold it into a ball following the instructions in the book (takes about 30 seconds), place the dough on the pizza peel sprinkled with corn meal and let it rest for 40 minutes.  About 20 minutes in preheat the oven.  The baking stone should be in the oven at this point.  After the dough has sat for 40 minutes you transfer it from the peel to the hot stone in the oven, add some water to a broiler pan in the oven (this helps make the crust crispy), quickly shut the oven door and let it cook for 30 minutes.  That is it!  All said and done the time I actually had to do something to the bread was very minimal and that is why they say it takes 5 minutes a day!  It is so easy and there are pictures for every step of the process!  I love that part.  I am a very visual person.
 Resting for 40 minutes on a pizza peel.

My family loves the bread!  It disappears within hours of being done!  We have already gone through one batch of dough.  I just made a new batch today!  Oh...you don't even have to wash out the container in between batches.  They tell you to leave the little pieces of dough left behind and just add new dough mixture and it help build the new dough!  Awesome!!

 Just leave that dough in there!!

I baked the last loaf of the first batch of bread today.  Here is a pic.  This is not how it is supposed to turn out.  I forgot one important step....slashing the dough before it goes in the oven.  That would have prevented the crowning in the middle of that loaf.  Oh well. It will still taste good!  

My sister probably thought I was crazy when I told her what book I wanted, but I am so glad she got it for me!  I ask for weird things sometimes but my family usually knows there is a reason for it.  My mom kinda rolled her eyes when I said I wanted a steam mop from her.  She said "Really".  Yes, Really!  I will tell you how much I love that gift on another day!

J-Man has had a rough day today.  I think he is having trouble transitioning from being home alone to sharing his house and his Mommy with friends.  It was one big whine fest today.  He kept crawling up on my lap saying "I need you Mommy".  It was not an easy day for J-Man.  The worst was when we were in the laundry room moving clothes from the washer to the dryer and after I closed the dryer to turn it on he started whining that he needed his clothes back.  I had to explain three times that I would put his clothes back in his room after they were dry.  Ugh!  Toddlers!  

Luckily he woke up from nap in a much better mood!

Click HERE to visit the website for Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day.  Have a great day!


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