Can I just say how much I loved the bread I made yesterday from the book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day? It turned out really, really well. It was easy, tasted good, was very inexpensive, and I have enough dough in the refrigerator for about five more loaves. I took some pictures of the process.
Here is the bread on its first rise:
The longest part of the process is mixing up the initial batch of dough, which then rises on the counter for two hours. After that, you can either use some right away, or put it in the refrigerator to use later. Mixing it took about five minutes, using my large mixer. I then put the dough in an ice cream container I had in the pantry... it looked as though it was going to be big enough. Over the two hours we watched the dough completely overflow the container. M. said I had created the Blob. After making a couple of loaves of dough, it all fit back in the container. I'll keep using this one for the time being, since it's what I have.
I made three loaves of dough. (I divided one loaf in half to fit on the one baking stone I own.) Here they are all ready to go in the oven. Next time I'll make the slashes a little deeper so they show up on the finished loaves. Instead of using a baking peel, which I don't own, I floured a rimless baking sheet to use to get the loaves in the oven.
It was an imperfect system, since the second loaf ended up sticking a bit. Consequently, it baked into an odd shape. It still tasted good. There was only the slightest difference in crust between the loaves baked on a baking stone and those baked on a heavy baking sheet. Certainly not enough that I'm going to run out and invest in many baking stones.
They tasted fantastic, with the only downside is that I was tempted to eat far more bread than I usually do because it was so much better than the grocery store stuff I had been buying. I'll use up this batch and then I'm going to try using my home ground wheat and see if it works as well.
Lastly, is an advertisement. Here is a photo from The Diary of Anne Frank which opens tonight. B. is Mr. Frank (center stage, looking very grey) and M. is Margot, Anne's older sister (slightly behind B., standing). As dark as M. dyed her hair, it still looks quite light on stage with the lights.
Thin Ice Theater facebook page or at the EHE website. Please come see the show... it is going to be wonderful. But bring some tissues.