As promised I am posting the bread recipe I have been using over the past few weeks. The recipe comes from the book “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.” I purchased this book several months ago and never actually tried to make any of the breads. Recently I have been baking my own bread instead of purchasing store bought bread so I decided to give this book a whirl.
Here is the basic recipe and it makes 4 – one pound loaves.
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 Packets)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt
6 1/2 cups all purpose white flour
1. Warm the water slightly, it should feel just a little warmer than body temperature, about 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Add yeast and salt to the water in a 5-quart bowl or preferably in a resealable, lidded plastic food container.
3. Mix in the flour – kneading is not necessary. Add all of the flour at once. Mix with a wooden spoon, fork or with a high capacity food processor with a dough attachment. You need only mix until all ingredients are wet.
4. Cover the container with a lid and allow to rise until mixture almost touches the lid. This could take from 2 – 5 hours.
One the dough is risen, put it in the refrigerator (covered) and it will last for 14 days. It is easier to work with dough once it has been refrigerated. When you are ready to bake, dust a little flour on the top of the dough and on your hands.
Pull up a chunk of dough about the size of a large grapefruit. Form the dough into a small ball – don’t knead – this should only take about 30 – 60 seconds. Dust a cookie sheet with cornmeal and allow the dough to rise for 40 minutes.
20 Minutes before baking start heating the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven heats your baking stone (tray you will be baking the bread on) should be in the oven as well on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on another shelf that won’t interfere with the baking bread.
Dust flour on the top of the bread and slash with a knife several times. After the preheat 20 minutes have elapsed slide your bread onto the heated baking stone in a swift motion. Pour one cup of hot water into the broiler tray – do this quickly but carefully. The steam that arises from this process will aide in giving the bread a nice crust.
Bake the bread for 30 – 40 minutes until the crust is a nice golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Allow the bread to cool completely on a wire rack. I usually bake bread every 5 days or so. Enjoy!