Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day: Loaf 1

For Christmas I got this book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, from my mother-in-law.  Thanks, Kate!  I have always felt a little negative toward yeast and yeast breads.  I have had some success with yeast doughs, but not enough to make me feel very confident.  This book makes bread baking seem accessible and simple.

After reading through the introduction, tips, ingredients and master recipe I ordered these food storage containers from and once I received them I got started.

The ingredients are simple and you most likely have all of them at this very moment.  Flour, water, yeast and salt.  That’s it.

If you have a large enough container, you can mix it all up in there with a wooden spoon (less clean up), let it rise for a couple hours, then store it in the fridge for at least 3 hours and up to 2 weeks!

There aren’t many hard and fast rules here.  Temperature of the water, initial rising time, the amount the dough has risen (double, triple, etc) days in the fridge, and the amount of dough for your loaf are all approximate.  The directions and ingredients are clear, you just don’t have to worry about water that is exactly 101.3 degrees or a ball of dough that is exactly 1 pound 2.25 ounces.  This is stress free bread making!

That is the part I really love about this.  If you thought you were going to have time to make baguettes to eat with dinner, but suddenly your 2 month old spits up all over the couch and you, then you don’t have to worry about it.  Flexibility.  Wonderful flexibility.

Here are the pre and post risen dough.  My dough just about doubled in volume after 3 hours at room temperature.  I really like these containers.

The dough rose well, it was easy to form into a “boule”…fancy French term for ball of dough, and while the directions for baking seem a bit tedious they are actually quite easy to pull off.  After 30 minutes of baking my bread wasn’t very dark, and it did not look like the bread on the cover of the book.  BUT, it smelled lovely, it had a nice crisp crust, a chewy interior and a yeasty, and just slightly salty flavor.  I am hopeful that the more bread I bake, the better each loaf will be.  So, here is loaf # 1!