Monday, May 2, 2011

Artisan Bread

Whoa!  I'm on the mending side of a 6-day flu bug.  NO FUN!!  I haven't been that sick since high school!  Thank goodness I have a great team at work that allowed me to take three days off to lay on the couch and take antibiotics.  Feeling much much better now!

I have a couple of posts for you that I meant to upload last week.  This first post is absolutely beautiful.  Wanna peek?  Ok....

Cross Artisan Bread

Isn't she pretty?  She's even prettier slathered with butter.  Yummmm!!!

I've been telling you about the book 'Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day' for a while now.  It's really easy to follow and the bread it produces is absolutely wonderful.  The loaves are about the size of a bread bowl.  Just right for little ol' me.  The last time Ty was here, I baked up a loaf and we used it for BLT's.  Pretty dang tasty!

So here you go:

Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day
3 cups water, room temp or slightly warmer
1-1/2 Tbsp salt
1-1/2 Tbsp yeast (I use Rapid Rise)
6-1/2 cups flour (For this recipe, I used 5-1/2 cups all purpose and 1 cup whole wheat)

1.  Put the water, yeast and salt in the bowl of your mixer.  Slosh it around a bit.  Don't worry about letting it sit to get all foamy. 

2.  Dump the flour on top of the yeast mixture.  All at once!

Start the mixer on the lowest speed and let it go for a few seconds.  You can speed it up a bit if you like once some of the flour is taken up.  It will form a loose dough like this at first:

Keep stirring and it will eventually form a soft shaggy dough ball.  Like this:

3.  Scoop your dough into a large plastic container.  I use a cereal storage container because its tall and skinny and fits in my fridge without taking up too much room.

 For some reason, my computer liked to load this pic on its side.  Just turn your head to the right and you'll get the idea.  Let the dough rest in the container for 2 hours.  Make sure the lid is not closed tight so the gases created by the fermenting dough can escape.  After 2 hours, it should look like this:

Yep-- head tip to the right.  Time to put it in the fridge.  Its ready to use a few hours later, once its cold.  The cold dough is a lot easier to handle than room temp dough and it will last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.  Baking a loaf when you're ready is super easy!

Baking a Loaf:

1.  Dust the top of the dough with flour.  Using clean hands, pull a piece of dough about the size of a grapefruit out of the container.  Quickly form into a ball by stretching the dough around and under the ball.  Pinch the bottom to seal.  This is called 'cloaking'.  I like to place my ball on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper.  Let it rest at room temp for about 40 minutes or so.

Cloaked Dough

2.  After 25 minutes or so, preheat the oven with a pizza stone in the center to 450°F.  Place an old pan in the bottom-- you'll be pouring in some water to create steam as the bread bakes!  Let the oven preheat for 15 to 20 minutes.

3.  When its time to bake, lightly dust the top of the loaf with flour.  This will help with slashing.

Use a sharp serrated blade to slash.  My two favorite patterns are:

The Cross

The Scallop
4.  Using a pizza peel, slide the loaf of bread onto the hot stone in the oven.  Pour a cup of HOT tap water into the extra pan and close the oven door.  Set the timer for 15 minutes.

5.  After the 15 minutes is up, slide the parchment paper out from under the loaf so the bread sits directly on the stone.  Close the oven door and continue to bake for another 25 minutes.

6.  Pull the loaf out of the oven and let cool for at least an hour before slicing.  The crust will pop and crackle as it cools.  Food with sound effects!  Hoorah!

Scalloped Loaf

Cross Loaf from the Top
I hope you enjoy this bread-- and that you buy the book!  There are TONS of great recipes in there using this dough method.

Happy May Day!


Maris said...

There is nothing better than homemade bread. Looks fantastic!

DosiDough said...

Thanks, Maris! I agree!