Friday, October 30, 2015

5 Minute Artisan Bread

I think this is called 5 minute bread because it literally takes about 5 minutes to mix it up.  However, rising time and "curing" time can be anywhere from 2 1/2 hours to 14 days.  Just a heads up

Recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg & Zoe Francois
3 c. lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbs yeast
1 1/2 tbs kosher salt
6 1/2 c. unsifted flour (white or wheat)

Add all ingredients to mixer or regular mixing bowl (add flour all at once, measuring it into your measuring cup by gently scooping it with a spoon and leveling off--do not press flour down, it throws off measurements).  

Mix with a wooden spoon or in your mixer until everything is well incorporated.  Don't knead the dough, it isn't necessary.  Dough will be wet and loose enough to conform to bowl.

Cover with a lid or plastic wrap (but not airtight, because the pressure will become to great, and the lid could explode off) and allow to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse (about 2 hrs). 

You can use any of the dough now, or you can store the dough in your fridge, covered, up to 14 days.  The longer it's stored, the more the flavour and texture improves, becoming more like sourdough.

When you are ready to use the dough, prepare your baking pan or tray.  Sprinkle dough with flour.  Pull up and cut off a grapefruit-size piece of dough, using a serrated knife.  

Hold dough in your hands, adding more flour as needed so it doesn't stick to your hands.  Gently stretch surface of dough around to bottom on all 4 sides, rotating dough as you go.  The end product will be smooth and cohesive on top, though the bottom may seem bunched (that's fine!).  It should only take about a minute to form the dough. 

Rest loaf for about 40 minutes.  Depending on the age of the dough, it may not appear to rise much, which is fine.  20 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place an empty broiler tray that can hold water on a shelf in the oven that won't interfere with where you place your bread.

Dust top of bread with flour.  Slash a quarter inch deep cross across the top using a serrated knife.

After a 20 minute preheat, you're ready to bake.  Put your loaf in the oven.  Then pour about 1 cup of HOT water (from tap) into the tray you placed in the oven when you turned it on, and close the oven quickly to trap the steam (this gives the bread a nice, chewy, artisan crust).  

 Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is browned and firm to the touch.  

*This is a basic recipe.  You can add any number of things to the dough to create a sweet bread (e.g. raisins & cinnamon) or a savory bread (e.g. chopped garlic and a couple Tbs of rosemary & thyme, kalamata olives).  

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