Paindemonium

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Hello all!
I’m now back in Chicago.  My vacation has ended and unfortunately I am still suffering from a sinus infection.  At least now that I am home I can begin my job hunt.  In the meantime, I have begun making my own bread.  My sister-in-law showed me this great book called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day that I have started producing bread with.
This is the easiest recipe that I tried out so far.  If you get the book it shows you how to make all of these great varieties of bread.  Definitely pick it up if you think bread-making is your hobby!
So the recipe is fairly simple. You just grab a 5-quart container, 1 1/2 packs of yeast or 1 1/2 tablespoons of active yeast, 3 cups of water, 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt, and 6 1/2 cups of plain ol’ flour.  According to their rules you don’t even need to knead it! You just mix everything together until it’s wet, and let it rise in a covered – non-airtight – container for 2 hours or more and then after that you can start baking.  I grabbed a grapefruit sized ball of dough, threw some flour on it, and then stretched it into a ball shape to rest.  After it rests for about a half hour you need to slice a few cuts in the top and scoot it onto a baking stone that has been preheating in an oven to 450° – along with this you also want to put a dish to steam 1 cup of water near a boiler.  Steaming the bread will apparently make the outside nice and crusty.  After another half hour your bread should be done!  My first one had some trouble – It looks like a volcano. The second one turned out much better!

 

Attempt #1

Once you make this batch of dough you can keep it for at least two weeks and the yeast will continue to work.  If you’re a dork like me you can give your dough a name (I read professional bakers often name their sourdough yeast).  I named mine Louis I in tribute to all those French leaders I have read about in the past month.  As you can imagine there are a few more to come soon.   So far it looks like my batch makes about 3 loaves, but I think it depends on how warm your house is while cooking because my dough didn’t rise as much as Amy’s.

Attempt #2
Attempt #2

So here’s my first food entry.  I have another that’s pending.  I attempted to make homemade mac and cheese with some epic failure.  Once I get that picture I will post for all of you mac and cheesers.  Good luck with your bread dearies!!!

Also, if you’re interested in going further with your bread making I discovered a wonderful article written at a site I like called Chocolate & Zucchini.  Here they go through how to create your own natural starter.  Check it out if you would like: http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2009/07/natural_starter_bread.php

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