Monday, November 23, 2009
On a Bread Roll
I recently picked up a copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, irrespective of my skepticism regarding its lofty promises. Bakery style batards, baguettes, and ciabattas with such little time and effort? Show me the money!
I must admit that the authors, Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, really figured this one out. All you need are a few simple ingredients and tools: flour, yeast, salt, water, pizza stone and peel. This no knead method uses a yeast based wet dough, which is stored in the refrigerator for up to 14 days. The longer the dough sits, the more of a sourdough flavor it takes on. The only shortcoming to the method is that if you use the dough within the first couple days of mixing it, it has more of a yeasty taste rather than sourdough flavor. But in my opinion, this is a trivial drawback given the fact that the bread practically makes itself.
Once every week or so I mix up a double batch of the dough, which makes about 8 loaves. For the past few weeks, we've been enjoying fresh baked bread nearly every day. I'm practically considered a saint around here! Practically. Almost. Well... not quite. Okay, not really at all. But the heavenly scent of the bread baking has gotten me out of Dutch with the Disgruntled Farmhand more than once. I'm calling it "the miracle method".
Speaking of books on bread, look what I ran into while thumbing through the Farm Journal's 1969 tome on the subject:
Eww! Of all the ads to put in a book entitled "Homemade Bread", and right next to rye bread recipe! How 70s.