Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Loafing at home

The bread in the previous posting's picture came out of our own home oven. Years back as a poor and hungry bachelor I learned to cook a little and branched out eventually into home bread making. These days it is hard to work the needed time for mixing, rising and kneading, to say nothing of baking into the office and farm schedule. No one wants to wait around until 11:00 pm to hear me say "Come on, the bread's ready!" So, when I ran across this book, I thought I would give it a try. Now, I knew going in that you really can't make "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" so I wasn't surprised to find that rising times still need accounting for, as well as a certain amount of time spent actually shaping loaves before baking. A book titled "You can make pretty decent bread at home without actually having to stick your hands in dough for more than five minutes at a time" probably would have been a harder sell, if a little more accurate. Nonetheless, following the instructions gives me better bread than I can buy at the grocery store and I am now in the habit of keeping a few pounds of pre-risen dough ready in the refrigerator. The authors have a useful web site, which includes a few important corrections to the book.

2 comments:

Huw said...

For work-saving, try this no-knead bread

John S. Bell said...

I've used the New York Times recipe and really like the results. The downside is the 18 hours of rising plus another two, which I can never quite work into a schedule that results in a warm loaf on the dinnertable. I use an old dutch oven skillet for the covered pot. It works well and gives a great crust, though grabbing a 450 degree cast iron handle is always a reminder that I really need to get some better pot holders.