Have you seen or heard of this book- Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day? It is sweeping the nation! (That sounds so dramatic and it's only about bread. I love it.) I'm a believer but first I must admit that I wasn't at first.
Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes you ask? Yes. Yes. Yes. This basic recipe is so easy to make. Any of you can do it! I made the recipe below, and added about 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds as well as about 2 Tablespoons of honey. It was really good but not the prettiest, I'll agree. My photo makes it look burnt, but I assure you it wasn't. It was crunchy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. I have a feeling that my method and the appearance will both improve with each try.
I bought the book and it is filled with bread recipes, including brioche, challah, and pannettone. So, if you find yourself with 5 extra minutes on your hands this week, try this and be sure to let me know how it goes. If, however, it is 90 degrees outside do not turn that oven on-this bread can wait for a more temperate time.
Basic Artisan Bread Recipe
Recipe adapted from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbsp granulated yeast
1 1/2 tbsp coarse salt
6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all purpose flour
1. Add yeast and salt to water in a large 5 quart container or bowl.
2. Mix in the flour with a wooden spoon or a mixer fitted with a dough hook until mixture is uniform. If you are hand mixing and it becomes difficult to incorporate all the flour with spoon, you can use wet hands to press mixture together, but do not knead.
3. Cover with a non-airtight lid and let rise approximately 2 hours until it rises and flattens. At this point, you can stick the dough in the fridge and let it stay in there for close to 2 weeks! the last loaf we made tasted even better than the first.
4. Sprinkle dough with flour and cut off a grapefruit sized piece, add a little more flour if needed to prevent dough from sticking to hands and stretch surface of dough around to bottom turning as you go to form a ball.
5. Let dough rest 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 450F and place an empty broiler tray on bottom rack.
6. Dust dough with flour and slash with a serrated knife to make a criss cross or scalloped pattern. Put dough in the oven and quickly pour 1 cup of hot water in the broiler tray and shut the door. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch.