Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I tried a new bread recipe

A while back, on a whim, I checked out Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day from the library. I love fresh bread, but I hate the 3 hours of needing to be home to make it (there's no hard labor with bread when you own a good stand mixer, but it is still time consuming). I skimmed it that night, and thought the book seemed like it was sent from heaven, but I didn't have the tools needed: Namely, a baking stone and a large container for storing the dough. Our old pizza stone cracked a couple of years ago, and we just never bought another. I returned the book, hoping that some day I'd get around to buying a dough bucket.

I finally did that last week. I bought some 4-quart Rubbermaid containers, and I went off in search of the recipe again. I found the basic "master recipe" from the book on the internet and tried it out. This bread in its most basic form makes enough for four round, rustic loaves. My first attempt yielded basically a lump of bread. It was ugly. Very ugly. And heavy. Made good toast, though.

Second attempt was to make pizza dough. This went very well. I will definitely use this method in the future.

Third attempt this morning went much better than the first. [pictures coming, but the batteries on the camera died before I could upload]It is still a little too heavy (I think the original mixture was a little drier than optimal), and I had a devil of a time getting it smooth. But it made for a very good sandwich at lunch (ham and sharp cheddar, with a little brown mustard, if you were curious). And it really does only take about five minutes of actual work, plus some time for proofing and of course baking. I'm going to get the book back out of the library and try again very soon. I also will be buying a stone in the very near future. Who knows, this book might end up a "must buy".

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