It finally came - my very own copy of "Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day". I've seen reviews of this book all over blog land, and decided to give it a try myself. As soon as I got home last night I ripped open the Amazon box and read the first 5 chapters. This is a totally new way to think about bread.
I've made bread before - rolls, brioche, cinnamon buns - we even own a bread maker. However, it always requires up-front planning. After my first brioche (3 days of resting, kneading, and development) I loved the final product, but swore I would only make it for very special occasions. Even cinnamon rolls are difficult to make on a Saturday morning if you didn't plan ahead Friday night. But no more - with this book I have a 5-quart Tupperware full of bread dough waiting to be used anytime in the next 14 days.
The premise is that you simply mix 4 ingredients (no pre-conditioning the yeast!), let it sit in a container for 2 hours on the counter-top, then move it into the frig for use later. I ran to Target last night, bought a container, and started in on the dough. I used my kitchen aid for mixing and it took all of 5 minutes. 2 hours later I transferred it to the frig and tonight is my first boule!
When it comes to baking you simply cut off a chunk of dough, shape it, and then let it rest for 20-40 minute. Throw it in the oven and 30 minutes later fresh bread for dinner!
I'm starting with the basic recipe - there are a ton of different breads included in the book: whole grain, ryes, sweet breakfast breads, brioche, bagels, and soft pretzels! Using the basic recipe I should be able to make several types and shapes of bread (including cinnamon rolls!).
My second batch will definitely be the bagel/soft pretzel recipe. Imagine waking up and boiling/baking fresh bagels for breakfast before work. I don't know if that's really feasible for us, but I'm going to give it a try!
If you're new to bread making or don't like the fuss of traditional methods - I'd highly recommend this book. Tomorrow I'll blog the results of my first boule!