Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tasty Tuesdays: Artisan Bread

Welcome to Tasty Tuesdays!

{ Just a reminder, there will not be a Tasty Tuesday link up next week.  I will be back and ready for you to link up on Tuesday, January 3rd. }

Last week at the library I came across the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  I had heard about the book a long time ago and kept meaning to look for it.

I tried out the basic recipe this weekend and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was and how delicious the bread is.

The beauty of this method is that one batch of dough makes enough for four small loaves of bread, and the dough will last in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

- 3 cups lukewarm water
- 1-1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (the authors say you can use rapid rise yeast or regular
- 1-1/2 tablespoons kosher or other course salt
- 6-1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour (measure with the scoop-and-sweep method)
- cornmeal for pizza peal

Equipment & Notes:
- plastic container for dough storage, at least 5 quarts.  I used a large, clean, Rubbermaid container.  If I continue to make bread this way, I would like to buy this from King Arthur Flour.  Whatever container you decide to use, the cover should NOT be airtight.  You want the gases to be able to escape from the container.  Just leave the cover open slightly.

- Pizza peel or metal cookie sheet

- Metal baking container - a 9x13 metal brownie pan works well.  This is to use in the oven.  You will add water to this container when you bake the bread to create steam.

- You can mix the dough by hand in the container you plan to store it in or in a heavy duty stand mixer with a dough hook attached.

- Scoop-and-sweep method:  For measuring flour.  Scoop flour out of container with 1 cup measuring cup and level with knife.  DO NOT pack flour into cup.

- Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

- If you don't have a 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon, just measure out 1-1/2 teaspoons.

- The book authors have put together a great video showing the entire process.  Find it right here on their Amazon page.  It is definitely worth watching - makes the process seem very easy.

1.  Warm water slightly.  Warm water from the tap is just fine.  Water should not be hot, just warm and slightly above body temperature.  The authors of the book say that you can also use cold water to achieve the same results.  Pour water into stand mixer bowl, or, if you are mixing by hand, your plastic storage container.

2.  Add yeast and salt to the water.  You can stir, but do not worry about getting all the yeast to dissolve.

3.  Measure flour out into another mixing bowl, and then add it all at once to water, salt, and yeast.

4.  Mix in the flour (either by and or with dough hook on stand mixer.  No kneading is necessary.  Only mix until mixture becomes uniform, without any dry patches.  With a dough hook this will not take long.  If using a stand mixer, transfre now to storage container.

5.  Allow dough to rise.  Cover with lid (not airtight) and allow mixture to rise at room temperature for 2 hours.  Dough can be left out at room temperature for as long as five hours with out harming the end result.

6.  Refrigerate.  For the first loaf, dough should refrigerator for at least two hours.

My dough looked like this when I took it out of the refrigerator before baking the first time:

To Bake:
1.  Remove dough container from refrigerator.  Sprinkle flour over part of dough that you plan on using.  Grab a chunk of dough and pull up.  Cut off, either with a pair of kitchen shears, or serrated knife, a grapefruit size portion.

2.  Dust with flour (but do not incorporate) and form ball of dough into a round circle.  Fold over edges of dough to the bottom side.  Dust pizza peel or metal baking sheet with cornmeal and place dough on it.  The authors say that this whole step should only take 30 - 60 seconds. You do not need to work with the dough a lot.  Let dough rise for 40 minutes at room temperature.  It does not need to be covered.

3.  Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450 degrees, with a baking stone (pizza stone) placed on the middle rack.  Also, place an empty metal baking container on shelf below stone.

4.  When 40 minutes is up, dust dough with flour and slash with a serrated bread knife.  Either a criss-cross pattern, or scallop pattern.

5.  Transfer dough to pizza stone.  Open oven and quickly jerk your wrist to transfer dough from pizza peel on to pizza stone.  Close oven door.  Run tap until water is hot and measure out one cup of water.  Open oven door again and pour water into metal baking dish.  Quickly close oven door to trap steam.

6.  Bake bread for 30 minutes, or until the crust is nicely brown and firm.  Remove from oven and cool immediately on wire cooling rack.

This bread was so good!  I am really looking forward to making lots more bread like this.  And I love knowing that I have 3 more loaves just waiting to be baked right now.  I am planning on purchasing the book.  There are so many more recipes in the book - everything from pastries to pizzas to flat breads to peasant loaves.  I think this would be a great last minute gift for any baker on your shopping list!

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  1. I got this book recently from the library. We are in love with this bread...it is delicious! I have also made a baked french toast with the leftovers and it was yummy too!

  2. Hi Allissa,
    Your bread looks amazing, I can almost smell it coming out of the oven, yum! I am sharing my Cranberry Turkey Tamales today. Thanks for hosting and Merry Christmas!
    Miz Helen

  3. Oh, that bread looks delicious. It would go perfectly with the Stoneless Stone Soup I linked up today. :)

  4. Hi, Alissa. I, too, have seen this on a lot of websites, and have been wanting to try it. I am glad it turned out well for you. Have a WONDERFUL Christmas!

  5. Hi,
    I shared my no potato latkes and my grain-free holiday roll out cookies. Happy Holidays!

  6. Hey Alissa! Your bread looks amazing! I bet it was so good fresh out of the oven with a little butter!

  7. Alissa, I've heard great things about that book too! Your bread is lovely, I am pinning this to try next week. Thanks for hosting, and have a wonderful holiday!

  8. I LOVE that bread book! We make that dough often -- it makes a great bread bowl, and pizza crust too :)

  9. Looks delicious! I'll have to look for this book, too. Love the green shade of your butter dish! I have such a weakness for Le Creuset!

  10. That bread looks wonderful! I should try my hand at making it more often. Thanks for hosting!

  11. That bread looks so delicious! I love homemade bread.

  12. I heard of this book and wow. Your bread looks like the Italian bread my dad buys. I have to try this. Merry Christmas!

  13. It looks amazing!!


  14. Wow, that is a gorgeous loaf of bread. It has been forever since I've baked bread-- I'm feeling inspired to get after it!

  15. I am sooo making this bread! Thanks for the recipe. I too saw the book at the bookstore once - intriguing!

    I can't wait to make it! I am going to do it now... Wonder if they say anything about adding whole wheat flour to the recipe???

  16. Hi Alissa! Thank you for sharing this recipe and book! The bread looks so good and I am inspired to try it! I linked up a bunch of my Christmas cookies recipes and a few gift ideas! Wishing you a wonderful holiday and thank you for hosting this party! Merry Christmas! Angie xo


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