January 11th, 2008

ozarque figure

Personal note; making bread; part two...

Part one of this post is at http://ozarque.livejournal.com/486741.htm ; here's the opening paragraph, for your convenience:

"Recently -- based on an impressive array of positive reviews -- I bought the book by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois titled Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking [Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's 2007]. This book claims that you can make a big batch of dough, with no kneading, stash it in your refrigerator, tear off a grapefruit-sized chunk before dinner every night, spend five minutes getting it into your oven, and have a freshly-baked loaf straight from that oven to go with your meal."

Well, I've tried the Master Recipe, and am happy to report that the result was a really wonderful loaf of bread. And I say that in the context of a fact that should be remembered: It was the very first time I had ever tried that recipe or that method of baking bread. Nevertheless, the bread was excellent ... lovely crumb, lovely crust, lovely flavor and texture. And there really were only five minutes of active work involved in getting it ready, none of which involved any kneading whatsoever. [You have to do those five minutes of work roughly two hours before you want to eat the bread, by the way, because of the time needed for letting the dough rest, baking it, and letting it cool properly; plan ahead.]

None of the steps in the recipe that I had thought were going to be tricky gave me any trouble at all, and the rest of the bread dough -- enough for three more loaves -- is resting happily in my refrigerator, ready to use.

It's magic; if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes and baked it with my own hands, I never would have believed that it was possible. I wholeheartedly recommend that book [plus its errata sheet, available at http://zoebakes.com/?page_id=101 ].

This afternoon I'm going to show my husband how the recipe is done, and then I'm going to turn the whole process over to him so that he can start gracing our table with all the different kinds of bread that he's been lusting after and that I just have not had time to bake.

Way cool.... I love happy endings.