Be sure to click on “UPDATED SECOND LOAF” link on bottom of page to see how the second loaf turned out!
I’m still in a state of shock this morning. I found a book at a thrift store titled, “The Splendid Table“ by Lynne Rosetto Kasper. I had heard of the author on NPR. I was excited to find such a great book at a thrift store and I couldn’t wait to take it home and comb through it. I always go online and look up the books I buy and check out the author’s bio. I came across her web site which recommended a recipe for artison bread in five minutes. More research led to the book I will be purchasing today:
If you enjoy great bread–run to the bookstore NOW! The recipe allows you to mix flour, salt, yeast, and water to make a dough that rises for a few hours on the counter and then goes into the refrigerator to use at your leisure for up to two weeks. I have only made my first loaf, and there is plenty of dough leftover-I predict a few more loaves of bread and maybe a pizza in the next week or so.
When you’re ready for fresh baked bread –simply load your hands up with flour, cut off a grapefruit size piece of dough from your container of dough, form it (if you haven’t made rounds before, you may need to see a video for this part) and place it on a pizza peel you have covered in corn meal to rise for about 40 minutes (I allowed mine to rise 60 minutes in the warmest part of my home). Preheat your oven to 450 degrees for 20 minutes (or halfway through the rising time) with a pizza stone on the middle rack and a broiler pan on the bottom rack–to be filled with a cup of very hot water when you slide your risen bread dough into the oven onto the stone. Slit the top of your risen dough with a serrated knife (dip knife in flour to keep it from sticking), sprinkle some flour over top, and bake! 30 minutes later, you should get something that looks like the photo at the top of the page.
Recipe: Simple Crusty Bread
Adapted from “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007)
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough
1. In a large bowl or plastic container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).
2. Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and cut off a grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.
3. Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.
4. Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.
Yield: 4 loaves.
I made a sandwich today and the bread is just like the great artisan breads you buy at the bakery!
NOTES FROM ANGELNINA: Make sure you use the pizza stone and add the hot water right after you slide dough oven. I do not have a pizza peel, so I used a small flat edged cookie sheet which I practically piled cornmeal on to make sure it wouldn’t stick no matter what ( I mean heap it on!). Then I grabbed my baker’s scraper just in case it needed a shove–it didn’t and slid right off. Again, I had loads of flour and cornmeal on the bottom to ensure proper fast slip off pan. Some people use parchment paper, but I haven’t tried it yet.
I used Gold Medal Bread Flour–so far nothing beats this flour for me, so I didn’t want to take a risk.
Rising right after mixing.
Risen for two hours. ( I kept lid on looser because I wasn’t sure if it was too air tight
In the fridge to wait a few hours more…
My formed ball, slitted, and resting. I slit it before the rest period, but the instructions say to slit before placing in oven! I panicked but all went well.
Fresh out of the oven
Slicing while still a bit warm (not hot). We couldn’t wait.