Friday, September 23, 2011

Easiest Homemade Bread ever!

Cover-cloche-baked-boule

Don't think you can make this bread? You can, and in just 5 minutes a day!

Remember the bread machine craze? I remember Rich taking me to some warehouse out in Woodland Hills to get a refurbished DAK machine, oh probably almost 20 years ago. It was a beast and took up half the kitchen! The funny thing about it was, that it made a tall round loaf (I think the later models made rectangular ones which made more normal looking sandwich slices). The machine was actually a lot of fun to use, though. I particularly enjoyed the "dough cycle" setting, where the machine would do all the work for you, then you could use the dough it as you wish. Some of my favorite things to make were crescent rolls, pizza dough, and cinnamon rolls.

Well, eventually, the bread machine quit and I never replaced it. Sometime after that I got a KitchenAid mixer, and I tried to make bread a few times in that. However, I always sensed that the KitchenAid wasn't quite up to the task (I don't have the heavy duty one). Maybe it was the smell of what seemed like the poor overworked motor burning up that caused me to set aside breadmaking, but I just kind of stopped making dough and bread completely.

The situation was so dire that I had turned to Trader Joe's for my pizza dough and Costco for La Brea breads...I needed help.

Enter in, this little miracle book:

Artisan_Bread1_thumb

My sister had told me that a girlfriend of ours had been using the method in this book with great success. She tried it as well, and raved, so I decided to give it a try myself. I checked the book out of the library, and felt quite skeptical as I read. All you do is mix flour, yeast, oil and salt (no kneading), stick it in a container, and refrigerate. Any time that you want to bake bread, you tear off a chunk (1 lb. of dough), rise it on the counter for 40 minutes, and bake. I had to try it. It was about 9:00 at night and I was in my pajamas but I got myself up off the sofa and made the dough (you have to let it sit on the counter for 2 hours first) and put it in the fridge. The dough needs to sit in the fridge at least overnight before first using it. So, I got up bright and early the next day, put my bread out to rise (it takes 40 min.) and baked it for breakfast. I will not tell you how much of the loaf I ate. (OK, half.) Anyways, it was SO amazing. I could not believe how easy it was, and how good it tasted.

I will let you know that you need a baking stone for this method. I have an old trusty, well-seasoned Pampered Chef one that I make pizza on all the time. Also, since you preheat the stone in the oven, you are supposed to rise your bread on a pizza peel and slide it on to the preheated stone. I don't have a peel so I just use parchment paper - it does the job perfectly. I simply place the dough, on the parchment, right onto the hot stone. After baking, you simply pull the parchment away and discard.

And, do you want to know what the greatest thing is? The batch makes enough dough for four loaves, and stays up to two weeks in your refrigerator. And, the dough gets better with each passing day. When the dough is gone, you don't even wash the container out! You just add the new dough batch to the remnants as they act like a sourdough starter would, giving the dough more flavor.

The book is full of all kinds of recipes. You can make pizza dough, foccacia, wheat bread, and even sticky pecan rolls with the many different doughs and recipes. Everything I've tried this far has been amazing. After such success, I decided I needed to buy this book and keep it forever. I also discovered that the authors have a second book, Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.
So,I got that one too. I can't tell you how seldom I buy cookbooks but these are keepers. I cannot wait to try all the whole grain recipes. Who knows, maybe I'll even blog about them! :-) I can't wait for the cooler fall weather so I can make some soup and more of this yummy homemade bread.

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6 comments:

Carly Jean Brannon said...

Karen, This is very cool...will be off to the library to grab this book :) thanks for sharing! Cj

Miller Family said...

Ok so I of course have to ask if there is a gluten free recipe?? It looks delicious!

the e-wife, Karen said...

YES, Holly there is! In the second book, Healthy Bread in 5 minutes a day, there is a whole section on gluten free. :-)

Megan @ SimplyThrifty said...

I also have that book and love it. I've lent it to my friend I'm going to try soapmaking with. Make sure to try the Naan recipe sometime. Super easy and absolutely delicious. You can make small Naan pieces and serve a lot of people. It's also GREAT to take camping as you cook it in a cast-iron skillet and it works over the fire. Who doesn't want hot, fresh bread while camping?

We were trying to watch the soapmaking DVD today but ended up canning apple pie filling instead. :) We have great plans to watch it next week and then get our list together to order supplies. Thanks for your help.

Mommy Roth said...

I know isn't it great! I haven't made them in a while but now that we will have some cooler weather I can start my bread making again. My Mom already had that book so she gave it to me ;).

Pur et Simple said...

Isn't that the greatest book! I have in my collection too and love it! Artisan bread pairs so well with goat cheese, ya know?! ;-)
So glad you are enjoying bread making. (It's a treat for the senses - sight, smell and taste!!)
Love you -