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Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day

Monday, May 04, 2009

Every couple of weeks, I look through the list of best-selling books on Amazon.  #85 overall, and one of the highest-ranking right now in cookbooks, is Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day:


Got it.  Well, I borrowed it from the library.  

It's good.

The book comes down to a 'master recipe' - it's a basic recipe that makes a lot of dough and it stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  From that recipe, you can make all kinds of things because it's sort-of a blank canvas.  As the days go by, it somehow gets better because it starts taking on a sourdough taste.  Here's what the dough looks like - I just keep it (lidded) in one of the vegetable drawers of the refrigerator:

The whole "five minutes a day thing" is a bit of a misnomer.  When you make the first batch, you have much more time invested in measuring and combining the ingredients, then letting it rise.  The next day when you can start using it, you still need to let it rise on a board for a while before setting it in the oven.  And it bakes for - depending on what you're making - 20 or 30 minutes.  

I've just been taking a handful of dough out of the refrigerator and dropping it onto a cornmeal-dusted baking stone to rise and bake on:
I put it in a 450* oven for about 30 minutes.  When it goes in, I pour hot water into a broiling pan on the lowest rack setting and close the oven door really quick so it gets a little bit of steam also.

This was my first little free form loaf of bread and it was really good!  
One night we were having some chicken and pasta, so I added dried herbs to the dough I prepared, and that was nice too.  It's so convenient to have dough ready to do whatever with each night...  Might keep this going.

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