I gave myself a little birthday present.
When I last posted about our family's daily bread recipe triumph, many of you wrote to say that I simply had to check out "Artisan Bread In Five Minutes a Day," and well, who am I to argue?
I was pretty skeptical, I'll admit. I mean really, after all that I've done, what with all the mixing, and the rising and the ingredient shopping, to at last arrive at a bread recipe that I'm happy to call our own, how could it be possible to get artisan bread in 5 minutes?
Still, it's bread, and I do love me some carbs. So, I gave it a shot.
Friends, if you don't know it already, let me be the one to tell you that this book will change your life. Seriously.
Now you and I both know that I'm a good southern girl and hence a little given to hyperbole, but in this case, it's sure shootin' folks, no exaggeration. You must have this book.
I don't know the authors. I'm not getting a thing from them. In fact they'd probably take issue with the fact that I bought my book used, but still, I owe them a debt of gratitude, and do hereby sing their praises from the rooftops.
Their bread is genius, delicious, easy, fast, just the very dang thing that our dinner table was looking for.
Don't get me wrong, our bread is perfect for toast, sandwiches and the like but I was wanting in the dinner bread department, and that's where this book comes in.
The basic premise is that you make enough dough for four small loaves. You mix it right in a lidded storage container. Or, if, like me, you don't have a container big enough, you mix it up in a big bowl and then separate it into two Tupperware containers.
It really only takes about 3 minutes by my count. Then, you let it rise for a couple of hours and pop it in the fridge.
When you want bread, you get a fourth of the dough out, form it into a ball and let it rest for 30-40 minutes, then bake it for 30.
They key here is that the pan is preheated with the oven (they suggest a baking stone, but just a plain old cookie sheet with parchment paper works pretty great too), and you have to pour a cup of water into a pan on the shelf under your dough when you put it in. This creates steam that makes for a crispy outer crust and a perfectly soft interior.
We've tried the basic Boule (kind of like a slightly sour dough-ish version of french bread) and the Deli Rye so far, and let me just say that if I didn't have a couple of scrappy little contenders here, I'd snatch those loaves and hide in the closet with a tub of butter at my side.
We have even used some of the basic dough to make some truly scrumptious cinnamon rolls.
Good thing there's more dough in the fridge!