I'm quite sure that I could live on bread alone. Which partially explains the vegetarianism. Who needs beef when you have a warm loaf of bread sitting in front of you???
Growing up, my parents would make a big holiday meal, and I would fill up on bread. Unfortunately, I don't think it's something that changes with age. I'm still the one who goes to Macaroni Grill, eats tons of their rosemary bread, and then asks for a box to bring home 90% of my meal.
Recently, I've seen tons of rave reviews for the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day in the food blog world. This past week I finally got my hands on it, and I must say that I'm quite impressed. This is my first loaf of their artisan bread.
So, about 45 minutes before you want a loaf, you shape it, preheat the oven and bake it. Five minutes of preparation time may be an over-exaggeration. My first loaf took about 5 minutes, but by the second one, it took maybe 3 minutes.
And it looks so darn pretty upon coming out of the oven. Fancy artisan bread will certainly be the 3 minute fix to any rough day.
Light Whole Wheat Artisan Bread
Recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Hertzberg and François
Makes 4 loaves
- 3 c lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 tbsp yeast (2 packets)
- 1 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1 c whole wheat flour
- 5 1/2 c all-purpose flour
When you're ready to bake a loaf, cut off 1/4 of the dough. It should be about the size of a grapefruit. Dust the dough with flour and quickly form it into a ball by turning the edges of the dough under so they're on the bottom. This should create a nice, smooth top.
Allow the bread to rest for 40 minutes a floured or corn-meal covered surface. After the bread has rested for 20 minutes, start preheating the oven to 450 degrees with (ideally) a pizza stone on a middle rack. Put a broiler tray or metal cake pan on the lower rack (do NOT use a glass cake pan, it'll explode when you add water!). Flour the top of the loaf and cut a cross or tic-tac-toe pattern into it. Once the dough has been out for 40 minutes and the oven has been heating for 20, quickly move the dough to the pizza stone and add about 1 c water to the broiler tray or cake pan. Bake bread for about 35 minutes or until dark brown. Allow bread to cool on a wire rack prior to slicing.