Sunday, January 03, 2010

bread

It's snowing again today. No photos. The snow has exceeded its level of cuteness.

I have taken up the art of baking bread again. I was born and raised on James Beard's bread book in terms of bread making. For the longest time, I had the recipe down without referring to the book. However, with many moves and much construction and not knowing where my books were half the time, break making fell to the wayside. Arnold's 2lb Brick Oven loaves have been the staple since.

Then, last summer, I found this recipe in Mother Earth News. What a god send! I'm not keen on a million kitchen gadgets. I wouldn't mind a KitchenAid in Green Apple, thank you. I've got a waffle maker, a nifty electric griddle (great for evenly-cooked bacon), and a big-ass slow cooker, but I'd resisted purchasing or being given a bread machine because, really, I like making bread without the machinery. The only problem with James' bread making process is that it takes 5 hours, start to finish, before one gets to enjoy a slice of home baked goodness. Few people, even me, have time for all that. Sorry, James, something's gotta give. Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, scientist (?) and chef, worked together to create this ridiculously easy recipe for baking bread. The initial mixing and first rise requires, at most, 2 hours of one's day and the rest of the dough can live in the fridge for up to 2 weeks after taking a portion to bake the same day.

And so the other day, I revisited the Artisan Bread In 5 Minutes recipe after reading the latest article in Mother Earth News featuring this recipe. I'd have done the new recipe, but I needed vital wheat gluten to make it so. Working with what I had, I grabbed my big Polish-designed bread bowl and mixed up a batch of joy and wholesome goodness. By dinner we had bread and I've got at least two more loaves to bake for breakfast and noshing through out the day. Thankfully, with this easy recipe, we can carb up to our heart's content.

It is my endeavor to get Hertberg and Francois' books. Here and here. Until then, I'll content myself with the recipes available through Mother Earth News.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

As an inveterate and frequent bread baker, I applaud your enthusiasm!

As the owner of an ever-widening rear end, I warn you that fresh bread is dangerous.

Now . . . would you like a big hunk of sourdough rye?