first loaf

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Picked up artisan bread in 5 min a day. Quick read on how it works and then lots of recipes on tweaking the dough to make about anything. It starts you off with a baguette. and that is what I really wanted to learn anyways. I love no knead bread and have made it a bunch of times. Bummer part of making that was how it took two days and that required planning. The results were amazing though.

The secret is using the no knead recipe, making a big batch, and storing it in the fridge for up to two weeks. Then when you want bread you pull off a hunk, let rise for 15 minutes, shape it how you want, and bake. The results should be the same as the no knead from what I have read elsewhere. You do not need the book to make this stuff though. Jeff Hertzberg, who wrote the book, tells you how on the King Arthur’s Flour website.
More detailed process on same site

5 minutes a day is the actual time you spend per day actually working with the bread. Baking and rising make it a good hour + per day you bake.

Boule is the basic no knead recipe and can make all sorts of stuff. Roll out a couple baguettes, one big loaf, dinner rolls, or a big crusty round mound with a brown crunchy crust. Then there is a egg dough, and a sweet one for other stuff. Going to try the horn rolls with the egg one. I have not read up on the last two, but the main one seems pretty cool.

Gonna ramble on more and talk about my results so far below with pics
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So my adventure so far.

I got started late and mixed the dough up around 9:30 PM. I opted to use my mixer which was not really necessary and I might of over mixed. Not a worry though. Don’t worry about it, it will be fine. I needed it to double in size and start to fall before I put it in the fridge, but midnight came knocking and it was about 3/4 the way there. Oh well. Not worrying.

After work I scooped out a pound of dough with a big hand grab from the container, formed it a bit and let it rest for 20 minutes.

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It really did not rise much, but the book said not to worry, so I formed it into a log, put it on some parchment, wet the top so I could cut slices in it, threw it in the preheated oven at 450, added a cup of hot water to the preheated broiling pan on the rack below, and set the timer for 18 minutes.

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The steam was pouring out the oven vent and the smell was yeasty. Beeper went off and I took a peek. Starting to brown and poofed up a bit. Set it for 7 more minutes. Pulled it out while enjoying the smell and put it on a rack. No crackle, but it looked awesome. Let it cool and tore off a chunk. Using a knife would of cheapened the experience 😉

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The crust was crunchy, but gave like a normal baguette, the dense crumb was moist, and the over all flavor was amazing. I devoured that hunk while Theresa was walking into the kitchen like a cheetah snarfing all the emu it can before the lion approaches. Not sure why I thought that, cuz there was lots more left.

It was great for a first try, but it was dense and not full of big air holes like I wanted. Cutting it up for dinner was almost depressing because I could see a clean slice of how dense it was. Not worrying though. Tomorrow and down the road will be better.

What I think happened.
1. I did not let the initial rise go far enough. Seems time will fix that.
2. not letting it rise enough when pulled out of the fridge. They say not to worry, but 10 more minutes might of made a big difference.
3. not letting it rise after formed at all. Not sure if it is needed, but think it should be. Will check on that.

I was done baking the bread before I started dinner. Was wondering how it would work out time wise. Now I know I can make bread and have it ready when dinner is no problem.Can’t wait for tomorrow. Going to keep doing the baguette till I get it down. Might make up another dough as well. Need to get a stone. Alton says to get a paver from a hardware store instead of a fancy baking stone. Will see what I can find. If this works out, I hope to make it very often. We go through a lot of le quartier each week.

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