Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Part I

OK - I've done it.  I've started the great bread experiment.  I'm actually about 4 weeks into. If you're wondering about which "bread experiment" I'm alluding to I refer you back to my early post.

I made my first batch of dough a few weeks ago.

It was as simple to make as the book stated.  Just dump in all the ingredients, mix it with a spoon till everything was incorporated and then put a lid on it.

In hindsight I think I didn't add enough flour - user error in counting. And I tried a new brand of yeasty and it was VERY "yeasty".

Following the directions of the book, after the dough sat in my fridge over night, I formed it into a shape and using my new pizza peel and old-seasoned stone I baked my first loaf.

Drum roll please............................ Tada!

I know, pitiful, huh?!?

It definitely wasn't much to look at, but it tasted fantastic. And just in case you couldn't tell how oddly shaped it was here's the loaf from another angle.

I made 2 more loaves later during the week from the same batch of dough.  Judging when the loaf is done is still kind of tricky for me.  I'm so worried about burning it or over cooking it, that I tend to take it out too early.  I found that I have to bake my bread at least 15-20 minutes longer than it says to in the book.

So the last batch of bread I made from the dough turned out much better, see for yourself:

The bread taste was pretty much consistently the same - great, but the crumb was much improved.  The first loaf was a little dense and moist, this loaf had more air pockets.

Another batch of dough is sitting in my fridge right now.  I haven't had the guts to try one of the flavored recipes yet, because i still think I've got a lot to improve on with these plain loaves.  Once I get them down, I'll go crazy.

One thing I didn't think of though when I started this...I don't usually eat this much bread and I hate to say it but I may be reaching my consumption limit.  I've got to hurry up and perfect this recipe so I can start giving the bread away.

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