Monday, July 4, 2011

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at artisan bread but get overwhelmed just thinking about it?  Yeah me too.  Or so that was until I found this great cookbook while perusing The Good Cook's site titled "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day".  In five minutes a day?  Yes, in five minutes a day.  It's unbelieveable.  And easy.  And after seeing that picture, who wouldn't want to make artisan bread?  Not this girl, that's for sure!

Easter Challah Bread

The wonderful part of this cookbook is how it takes literally 3 minutes to whip together the ingredients for a "Master Boule".  Then you just loosely cover your mixing bowl and let sit for a couple hours to double in size.  You can then either pull off a chunk of dough for use immediately or put in the refrigerator until ready to use.  My personal preference is to make it up a day ahead of time and use it once it's been the 'fridge.  That makes the rolling around part easier because it isn't as sticky.  You now have readily available bread you can take out of the refrigerator  any night of the week and all you do to prep it is roll it around in your hands a couple minutes and let it sit for 20 minutes to rise.  Super simple and incredibly delicious.  The best part.. each "Master" dough recipe makes enough for 4 loaves.  That means you don't have to mix up the dough half a dozen times in one week.. because you know you will want to make this bread every night.  Another great reason is that it keeps in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.. but it won't ever stay that long.  Trust me!  Or you can freeze the dough for later use.  I've never tried that so I'll definitely take your word on it if you try it out.

The writers have put together 100 recipes you can use the dough for, which is amazing.  Every recipe I've tried in the last two months have been wonderful, but my husband's absolute favorite is the challah bread.  I made this for our Easter dinner in place of the egg bread I traditionally make (challah and egg bread are actually similiar recipes - if you knew that, GREAT, good for you.  If you didn't, well now you do).  It's also very good as french toast the next morning.  Another great bread is the brioche, also similiar to challah but richer in flavor.  And the brioche dough makes wonderful sticky pecan cinnamon rolls - also in the cookbook.  I've included pictures below of a couple of the recipes I've made.  For any of these recipes you can visit Artisan Bread in Five.  They also have a wonderful Facebook page. 

Sticky Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Brioche Dough - half has been sprinkled with raw sugar for french toast the next morning

Pretzels - I halved the recipe to make 4 large pretzels, half with cinnamon sugar and half with coarse sea salt

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