for as long as i can remember, i’ve always wanted to bake bread. i’ve tried it once or twice; but i ended up with something that resembled more a paperweight than a perfect loaf of bread that i want to sink my teeth into. since those failed attempts i convinced myself that i was a cook (not a chef, and definitely NOT a baker) so i should focus my energies elsewhere.
but as i was browsing one site or another, i came across this…
artisan bread in 5 minutes a day
honestly i didn’t think it would work. experience has shown us that ‘quick fixes’ just don’t work. but i kept stalking the reviews on amazon. and i kept getting curious-er and curious-er…so i bought the book.
meanwhile, when i was grocery shopping i would discreetly chuck a bag of flour into our shopping cart. (nevermind that we don’t use flour for anything we cook) by the time the book was delivered i counted 3 bags of whole wheat flour, 2 bags of bread flour, another bag of cornmeal and a tupperware full of a mystery flour. the irony in buying all that flour: i didn’t have the all-purpose flour the recipe calls for. (sigh)
In a nutshell, this method allows you to pre-make a wet dough that is stored in the fridge for up to 10 days. When you want to make bread, you snip off a piece, shape it, rest it, slash and bake it! Even a non-baker like me was able to make a decent looking loaf:
my (second-ever) loaf or “boule”
i made the dough on day 1, on day 3 i made the first loaf (not pictured), on day 4 i made another two loaves, and today, day 5 i finished off the rest of the dough.
VERDICT: (loaves 1 &2) nice crisp crust that softened slightly when cooled. the crumb was dense and moist. aaron really took a shine to this basic recipe. i think the crumb could be less dense and more chewy. i will switch to bread flour as it has more gluten and may give me a bread more to my liking. (loaf 3) gifted to the neighbors. (loaf 4) in the oven!
i’ll continue to post to the bread chronicles as my adventure continues….