Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fresh Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

I've beeen meaning to post about one of my recent discoveries -the fresh bread in five minutes a day method. Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois have written two books together: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. The point is that it's very easy to mix up the dough (no kneading), you can store it in the fridge for up to two weeks, and when you want a loaf, you just pull off a hunk, shape, rise, and bake. It's super easy and the bread is yummy!

Here's a couple of my loaves from the Master Recipe ready to bake (I actually used 1/2 wheat and 1/2 white):

And because I haven't remembered to take any pictures of finished regular loves, I'm stealing one from Shawna, who introduced me to this whole wonderful idea:

You can probably check out the books from the library for lots of ideas (I have Artisan Bread checked out right now and am loving the easy variety!), but here's the "Master Recipe" (explanation copied from an email):

1 1/2 Tablespoons Yeast
1 1/2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt (or1 T regular salt)
6 1/2 Cups UNBLEACHED All Purpose Flour... See More
3 Cups Warm Water
A little cornmeal (not added to the mix -- used when you take some dough out and form it) or parchment paper.

Mix everything in a large container -- you mix it in the same container you are going to store it in so you don't have a dish to wash! (The next time you make the mix, don't wash the old bits out, it will help with the sourdough taste. They say to never wash the container.) Anyway, you stir it together just until there's no dry parts. Don't over-stir.

Then you lightly cover it (do not close it up tight) and let it rise out on your kitchen counter for 2 hours. After two hours, put it in the refrigerator. It can keep for up to 12 days in the refrigerator.

When you want to make some bread, take a little out (see the video on how to do this) and form it (see video) and put the cornmeal on the plate and let it rise for 20 - 40 minutes. Then cut the top a little (see video) and put in oven. You should be able to make four small loaves from the mix.

450 degrees for 30 minutes. Preheat a pizza stone. You want it as hot as possible before you put the dough on it. Use a broiler pan (I use a cast iron skillet) in the bottom of the oven and add hot water to it right when you put the dough in. You want some steam in there to make the crust hard and crunchy.

Here are a couple of videos from the authors of the books which show the method in use -
Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

And here's a shot of some decadent Brioche with Chocolate Ganache that I made from another recipe in the book. It was amazing.


TAB said...

Awesome!!!! So, it could be 100%whole wheat if I wanted to make it that way??

Laurie said...

Oh my goodness it looks great! And if you hadn't posted "proof" it would be hard to believe it's that simple!!

Laurel said...

I know, Laurie. I was pretty skeptical! Tab, the Healthy Bread video gives a "whole wheat" recipe, but it includes some unbleached flour as well. Here's a 100% whole wheat recipe from the Artisan Bread book:
1 1/2 c lukewarm water
1 1/2 c lukewarm milk
1 1/2 T granulated yeast
4 t salt
1/2 c honey
5 T (they say neutral flavored oil, I used butter)
6 2/3 c whole wheat flour

Same basic instructions; you can do it in a loaf pan or as a free form loaf. It says let it rest for an hour and 40 minutes after forming.

Merri said...

This all looks great, Laurel, but I am waiting for your calzone recipe! :)

Laurel said...

Merri! I'd forgotten all about it and am so glad for the nudge. I'll put it on the menu for this week, refine the recipe, take some pictures, and hopefully get it up soon.