Friday, April 25, 2008

Artisan Bread, the easy way!

I just had to share with you my latest bread making experience. The recipe for this delicious, wonderful, hard, crispy, crunchy, crusted artisan bread is from the book: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking.
This book contains the basics for making the bread plus a large quantity of additional recipes.

This is an incredibly easy method of baking bread with four basic ingredients: flour, water, salt and yeast. You do need a large mixing/storage container, a pizza peel and a baking stone. Although all of these things are not 100% necessary it does ensure a hard artisan crust. This bread is much better than the other No-Knead method I had tried and liked before I knew about this method. Much better...hands down! My first loaf was going well until I heard a big bang from the oven. My approximately 20 year old baking stone cracked into 4 pieces! Have no idea why that happened except for the fact the stone was so old. We ate the bread even though I had to finish baking it on the broken stone. Did this discourage me from wanting to try again?...NO....the bread was incredible!! The loaf was a little small for us, but I knew I would be baking more of this bread so I went right out and bought a replacement stone from our Williams and Sonoma outlet store for eight dollars and some change. Baking on the new stone yielded a wonderful loaf and no breakage this time. I did make a larger loaf though (hard to tell from the picture). If you want to see a video of the book's authors demonstrating the technique click here. Here's the link to their website. Here's a link for you to try the basic recipe before buying the book. I think if you try it you will be impressed. I can't wait to try more of the recipes. Yesterday I baked a loaf in a bread pan for sandwiches. Sorry no photos. My only problem now is slicing the bread. I sure wish I could afford a bakery type bread slicer like this one or even this one. I am terrible at slicing even slices. Does anyone know the secret for slicing perfect slices of homemade bread? Do you think this Rival Folding Food Slicer would do the trick? I would be so happy if I could find something that would make slicing bread easy and affordable :)

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