Artisan Bread: First Go.
I had been reading the buzz around a new book on baking bread. It had cropped up a couple times in my blog readings, and so– intrigued– I requested a copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day from our local library. Of course, I was a little behind the curve, and was placed in line behind many others–aproximately 25 others, which, with only 4 copies in our county, could take months to get through before my turn. This has happened before. Often by the time it is my turn I’ve forgotten I’ve even requested– not as terrible as it sounds– kind of like a suprise, a gift, when you least expect it.
But as it turns out I didn’t have to wait months. I arrived home one day to a package on my doorstep. I hadn’t ordered anything. But yes! It was for me. My friend had sent me a copy for my birthday just weeks after requesting it. A gift indeed!
Before I had a chance to try out the book, I got a chance on my vacation to see the recipes in action while visiting said friend. They were delicious! Now back at home it was my turn in the kitchen. Well, at least for 5 minuntes.
It is in fact a very straightforward process and as quick and easy as it is described, although it does have some equipment requirements that seem slightly daunting. I found though that my pizza stone worked well for the baking (they show a large baking stone), and a wooden cutting board stood in for the required pizza peel that I don’t have (nor have the budget for this month). I had a tupperware large enough for the dough storage, and as it did seem to have a good seal (not recommended), I merely left one corner cracked.
Verdict? The process was easy. The bread delicious. In fact, the two initial loaves I baked have disappeared, but luckily we have more dough in the fridge. I started with their first recipe, a boule, but I’m anxious to give some of the whole wheat recipes a whirl, as that is what we eat more of.
I found one blog posting at Alexandra Cooks that does a nice job of breaking down the cost benefits of baking bread this way. Perhaps with my bread savings I can start saving for the pizza peel!