We tried our first batch of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day today. I used the “Light Wheat Bread” recipe (a mix of whole wheat and unbleached white flours). It was supposed to make four loaves but we only got three out of it. This just means I get to try another recipe tomorrow.
—Very tasty bread, but a bit salty, we thought? I’ll reduce the salt in the next batch.
—Fabulous crust and a wonderful crumb. Very pleased with the texture. Just perfect.
—Would definitely double the recipe next time, since the point is to have enough in the fridge to bake a new loaf every day or so. A batch of dough should keep up to two weeks. I love the thought of the flavor intensifying over time, as the dough ages and develops sourdough notes.
The method was every bit as quick and easy as advertised. Took us all of ten minutes to mix up the big batch of dough (and half of that was ingredient-assembling—I need to restock my breadmaking supplies). You’re supposed to give it an initial rise of at least two hours, and then you can use the dough right away or put it in the fridge. We cut off enough for one loaf and enjoyed that with friends a couple of hours later. The rest went back into the fridge, and I sent a loaf’s worth of dough home with my friend and baked the second loaf for our dinner.
The dough was wet and sticky—deliberately; that’s part of the method—and I really thought the first loaf was going to be a flop because it spread out a lot during the short rising time. But then it baked up beautifully. Awesome oven spring. Quite thrilling, really.
I’m itching to try the peasant rye loaf and can see keeping batches of the “light wheat” (the whole wheat/white flour mix) and of rye in the fridge all week and alternating for each day’s baking. I’m also eager to try the whole wheat recipe and the brioche.
The possibilities for that brioche dough are intoxicating.
Oh, and I must say a bit of lemon curd countered the saltiness of today’s loaves quite nicely.
I may cross-post this at the old bread blog for easier reference (that blog used to be my breadmaking notebook, for collecting recipes and advice) but for now I’m going to post my bread notes here, too.
Please Pass the Butter
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day website (the videos are especially helpful)