Bread Fever

10

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day was recently published and it has started a wildfire of home bread making.

I’m hopping on the bread bandwagon with the rest of their fans. If you want the recipes, buy their book. For the basics, watch their video.

According to their blog, they have been fiddling with their recipe since the book was published, depending on which article you read about them you will get slightly different measurements, heat and timing. My observations are that you need to up the water to 4 cups, up the rest period after refrigeration to at least an hour and a half, and up the oven temperature to 475.

 

All in all I am very happy with the basic Master recipe. My best results so far have been using an iron skillet instead of a pizza stone. I’m letting the stone season some more before I give up, but so far the skillet gives a better crust every time. The bread has a great crust and crumb. You really need to let the bread cool completely before cutting (kills the whole warm bread ambiance) or else you end up with a dense gummy crumb that is no where near as good as after the bread has cooled.

 

I need to start trying the other variations in their book. Before that though I am thinking of doing a few modifications myself.

 

First up, I’m thinking of eliminating the packaged yeast by doing a pseudo starter. I’ve never tried a starter but from all of my research it looks to me like their Master recipe is half way between a starter and a dough. Someone on their blog mentioned that they just incorporate some the previous dough instead of adding yeast, essentially how you make a sourdough. I think this means you would have to give it a little more time before using, no big deal as I think this bread is best after day 3 anyway. I’ll keep you posted on how this goes.

 

If you can’t tell, I’m hooked. I’ve always had this phobia about bread for some reason. Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day has changed that. I have the fresh bread bug and I’m passing it on. Be warned though, the first symptom is five extra pounds.

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  1. Ugh, I am trying to get OFF bread. You aren’t helping.

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