Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bread in 5 minutes a Day!

The following is a quick method of making bread that I have been using the last several months. Last week I demonstrated this at a church activity...and now I will share it with you!  It really is simple, even if you have never made bread before. This method does not require kneading or long wait periods for proofing. It is a dough that is kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks! Try it out and let me know what you think!

Use this recipe for sandwhich loaves, french loaves, pizza, or even cinnamon roles!
5 quart Plastic container with lid (make sure it will fit in your refrigerator!)
Measuring cups/spoons
Baking stone or cast iron or ceramic bake ware
Baking pan that can hold water NO GLASS (the steam will cause it to shatter!)
Pizza peel or wood cutting board

3 cups warm water
1 ½ tablespoon Yeast
1 ½ tablespoon Salt (+ or – to your taste)
6 ½ cups flour
cornmeal or other rough grain

Step 1
Place water, yeast and salt in your container. Mix gently. Mix in the flour (I like to stir mine at 3 cups before adding the rest). It works best if you use your hand. Mix until all the flour in wet...dough will be sticky-that's okay this is a wet dough recipe. Place the lid on your container (if it is an air-tight lid, do not seal it all of the way). Set your dough out of the way for 2 to 3 hours. It should double in size.

Step 2
Place the dough in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

Step 3
When you are ready for fresh yummy bread: take your dough out of the fridge; generously flour a cutting board or other surface that your dough will rest on (like a pizza peel), dust a section with flour; reach in with hands and remove a portion of the dough (don't forget to remove your rings first!). The dough will be sticky. Shape into a ball pulling the outside edges around itself and tucking them to the bottom. Either leave in a ball form or other shape you desire (like a french loaf). Place on floured surface, cover lightly with a clean towel to rest for 1 ½ hour.
*If you plan on making pizza or other flat bread, you do not need to wait. You can roll the dough out at this point, just dust with flour as needed to reduce stickiness.

Step 4
Place both of you baking dishes in the oven. The one you will cook the dough in should be at the center. The other can be anywhere. *For pizza, or if you are not planing on steaming the dough you do not need to do this; like if you are making it in a loaf pan (If you are not going to use the steam, expect the crust to be softer and it is okay to use glass).
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Step 5
Dust loaf top with flour, make shallow slits across the top (I like to use x's, it makes it look fancy).
Flour your hands. Sprinkle cornmeal or other rough grain into the bottom of your baking dish. This is the part that a pizza peel is nice to just slide it into you pan, but if you don't (like me).....carefully scoop your loaf up and place in the baking dish. Pull out the rack with the other baking dish slightly and carefully poor 1 cup of HOT water into it and quickly shut the oven door. This will create a steam and the delicious crust!

Step 6
Bake for 30-35 minutes
Remove from oven and baking dish onto a cooling rack. Let cool as long as you can wait....then EAT IT!

Step 7
When you use the last bit of dough...make more right away! If you don't wash the container you will begin to get a slight sour dough flavor to your bread.

Resource: Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois
You can go to and search the book and there is a video demonstration for making this bread. The book has lots of great recipes. The above recipe is just the “Master” recipe used. 

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