Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Artisan Bread the Easy Way

What do I do when I suddenly crave a yummy warm loaf of artisan bread? Well I suppose I could hop in my car and drive to the local bakery BUT my life is more involved than that.
I have too many kids to just hop in my car large van and spend a nice afternoon sipping tea and eating fancy bread.
Nope, my life and circumstance requires that I be more efficient, frugal, and practical.
Here is my secret weapon
 I bought this book a couple of months ago and LOVE it. L-O-V-E. IT!
Let me tell ya'll that I am not affiliated with the authors of this book, but I do want to share the basic recipe and show ya'll how great it is to bake fresh artisan bread in a snap. Everyday.
The concept behind this method is to mix up the dough and place it in the fridge. Now, the dough is wet and not kneaded like your typical bread. This means you do not need a huge mixer or any fancy gadgets. The recipe makes enough dough for 4 loaves. You make how many you need and store the leftover dough on the fridge for another day...up to a week.
Let's get started by making the dough today and then tomorrow we will make a loaf of bread.

Basic Boule Recipe
3 C warm water
1 1/2 TB active yeast (2 packets)
1 1/2 TB Kosher salt
6 1/2 C all-purpose flour

To start you will need a container for the dough. Choose one with a lid, but not an airtight lid. A 5qt ice cream bucket works great. I double my recipe so I use a larger container that I bought at Sam's Club.

Now all you have to do is add 3 C warm water to your container.

To this add your yeast, salt and flour. Just dump it in there. Now, if you plan to bake alot of bread it would be best to buy your yeast at a wholesaler such as Sam's Club. This is what I buy and I store the opened package in the freezer and use it as needed.
You actually get 2 pounds of yeast for about $6.00. That is a great price if you bake quite a bit. The same goes with flour. I buy and use Bread Flour that I buy at either Sam's or Costco. It's a great deal. What about whole wheat flour? Yes, I do grind my own wheat and you may certainly use whole wheat in this recipe. I tried it with all whole wheat flour and it was good, but very dense. I also tried half wheat and half white and though it was not as dense and still good I just prefer using all white in this bread. It's a treat. I still use all whole wheat in our sandwich bread.
Moving on...... now you simply grab your largest wooden spoon and mix and stir just until all of the flour is incorporated.
That's it! Do not knead this dough. It will be a little wet and lumpy and that is OK! Now,place the lid on (not airtight!) and allow this to rest at room temp about an hour.
Once it has about doubled in size like this.....

You can place it in the fridge. Tomorrow we will pull it out and bake bread. It's that simple. The whole process to make the dough takes about 10 minutes tops!
Yeah, you'll be hooked!
See ya tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great method. Thanks for sharing with this Mom of Many!


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