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Bread: The Sequel

August 31, 2011

“C, I only have one complaint about this bread. There’s not enough!” – my brother-in-law, Sunday night.

I know, you’ve all been standing on eggshells waiting to hear about my bread! Well wait no more………

My first attempt at making bread wasn’t horrible. It tasted pretty good, but I found it to be quite labour intensive and needed a huge investment of time. How can I possibly incorporate this into my life on a regular basis? We love fresh baked bread and more importantly, baking it ourselves means we know what’s in it, but what’s the solution?

I had intended to find one but months passed and life got in the way with no more bread baking adventures. But a few weeks ago I was browsing the books recommended by one of my favourite bloggers, Soule Mama, and noticed one titled “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François (click HERE for their website) . Bread? Five minutes? Sign me up! I was intrigued and clicked purchase (well, it wasn’t quite THAT easy, but you get the drift).

I’ve had the book for a couple of weeks. Trying something new is always a little daunting, but I took the plunge on the weekend. Here’s the basic premise:

They provide you with a master recipe which you prepare and then refrigerate. One batch of dough will make four loaves of bread and can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks! Better still, it can be frozen in individual servings! The dough is super easy to mix together and doesn’t require proofing OR kneeding. Brilliant! The master recipe can be used to create different shapes and types of bread. Eventually I’ll graduate into making more elaborate doughs, with whole grains etc. but for now I’ll stick with the basic white dough.

I made the dough on Saturday afternoon. It took me a little bit longer than the 5 minutes suggested, since it was my first time trying it, but very shortly I had a nice wet dough I set aside to rise for a couple of hours. I’m not sure if you remember, but the bread I made last time had struggles rising. This one though….Well. I wish I’d remembered to take a before picture, because let’s just say it more than doubled in size. I was a little shocked to tell you the truth.

Awesome! Next step was to, well, do nothing but put the whole thing for the fridge! No kneading at all! My arms are saved (I have mild carpel tunnel. The punching is hard on my wrists)!

On Sunday I pulled it out, cut off two quarters and shaped them into balls.

I let it sit for 40 minutes, preheated the oven in the meantime, cut some patterns onto the top of the loaves and then popped them in the oven (they cook on a baking stone, which I just happened to have).

30 minutes later and I had two beautiful loaves of bread!

It tasted wonderful. There’s no sugar in it, so it wasn’t as sweet as the bread I made before, which I definitley prefer. Apparently the longer the dough is in the fridge, the more it takes on sour dough qualities. I LOVE sour dough bread.

Their claim of making bread in five minutes of day obviously doesn’t include the rising, resting and baking time (they state that right off the bat), but overall I found it to be a very efficient process, especially since there’s enough left for two more loaves. It’s easy enough to go off and do other things while it’s rising and resting. I can imagine how easy it would be one day to whip up a double batch and freeze the portions, ready to use at any time!

“If only we had fresh bread at home…” – A, on the drive home Monday evening, with a sly glance and slight smile.

No more ifs babe! This thing just might stick 🙂

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