Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bread

I recently picked up Artisan Bread In 5 Minutes A Day, and it's a great little book. It's full of basic "master" dough recipes, with lots of variations, and also some great pastry type recipes. I don't have a lot of experience with bread baking or using yeast doughs in general, and I found the book had some great instructions and tips. Before last weekend, my repetoire had included a couple of decent enough loaves and one batch of very sad dill dinner rolls. The latter took forever to rise, likely due to the drafty old house I was living in at the time. Lesson one....a warm kitchen is good! And they weren't so good either.

So, I don't really need more bread (or pastries) in my life (or on my hips) but I really like making it....kind of stress relieving, no? And, since Ethan was diagnosed with a peanut allergy, I've found it almost impossible to buy baked goods that haven't possibly maybe come in contact with a peanut. Bakery bread and goodies are now out. Bagged commercial breads are okay, but the chemicals in the ingredient lists kind of gross me out. Now that I diligently read all labels in search of peanut products, I'm even more aware of how many chemicals are in the most basic foods. Don't even get me started on how much this is stressing me out! Like I really need more things to worry about. Anyway, I decided to give this a whirl and I'm really liking it.

The book's basic premise is that you make batches of dough which you store in the fridge after a rise of approximately 2 hours. When you're ready to bake, you cut a hunk of the dough off, shape, rest for a bit (the dough, not you, but you certainly can!) and bake. The dough is a snap to make, and there's no kneading required. The loaves are small, so they bake quickly and are easy enough to eat in the couple of days before they go stale. Even day 3 bread made for good toast.

Last Sunday I made a basic Boule recipe, with some herbs added, and proceeded to bake one plain loaf and one olive bread variation. Both were really good- nice texture and a awesome chewy crust. This weekend.....brioche- stay tuned!

I'm so proud....weird, huh?

1 comment:

Zoe Francois said...

Hi. You should be proud, they are gorgeous! I'm proud. ;)

Thanks for sharing your success with all your readers.

Zoë Francois