Count Broccula's veg-head ramblings

My home experiments with vegetarian cooking. Focused on seasonal produce with some vegan stuff thrown in for good measure. I may include random other food-related stuff as I please.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

In love with my new bread book

Okay, so I found this article online with a bunch of recipes. The idea is that you mix up the ingredients for bread dough, then leave them in the fridge and tear off a hunk whenever you want to make bread. No proofing the yeast, no kneading... The article references a book, which I bought after making a few of the recipes from the article. I was so pleased and it was, indeed, so easy, that I plan to keep some bread dough in the fridge all the time!

Although it's called "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day," it's not actually five minutes from fridge to hot bread (I know you know that), but it is only about 5 minutes of labor, and the rest is resting and baking time. And it makes REALLY good bread. I used about half whole wheat, and everyone who has tried it agrees that it's fantastic.

And here is how easy it is, in a photo essay:

3 cups lukewarm water (just run the tap).

1 1/2 tablespoons yeast.

1 1 /2 tablespoons salt.

6 1/2 cups flour.


When it looks like this, stop. (Less than a minute.)

Leave it on the counter for two hours, then throw it in the fridge. The next day, it looks like this:

Later on, just hack off about a third* of it, and with floured hands, form it into a ball by tucking the sides into the bottom. Then let it rest for 40 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 450, throw the bread onto a baking stone (if you have one -- I guess I baking sheet would work, too), and cook for 30 minutes.

There's some fancy little touches, like you can cut a design in the top with a serrated knife, or you could put seeds on top, or you could cook it on cornmeal (I don't like the way cornmeal smokes, so I put it on parchment paper)... I've used the dough for pizza crust and pecan sticky rolls, and both were delightful.

It keeps for two weeks in the fridge.

* They say to use 1/4 of the dough at a time, but it makes a pretty small loaf, and a much smaller pizza than we're used to.


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