One of Rosie’s favorite frequent activities is to bake bread with me. Lately we’ve been making the bread from the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day cookbook. It’s so simple and delicious! It’s so easy, actually, that I am thinking of just getting rid of my bread machine.
Absolutely all you have to do to make bread that looks exactly like what is on the cover of the book is to mix yeast, salt, and hot water for a second, then dump in 6 cups of flour and mix until the flour is incorporated.
Then you let it rise in a warm place for two hours, tear off a chunk and form a ball, let it rest for 40 minutes, and then bake it for 30 minutes.
It’s ridiculously simple.
I just put the ingredients in my KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook and it takes about 5 minutes to get it all mixed together, then the rest of the time is spent rising…
Rosie loves to dump in the water, flour, salt, and yeast, then turn on the mixer and stand there and watch.
After it mixes I transfer the dough to my big ceramic bowl and Rosie licks all the dough out of the mixer bowl.
In the ceramic bowl waiting to rise…
Then two hours later…
If I cover it with a damp towel and put it in the oven with the light on it rises so much that I have an Ethel and Lucy moment–this happened recently–where I open the oven to find that the bread has expanded and tipped over the bowl, then poured all over the bottom of the oven and continued to rise in there. When I opened the oven door risen dough started falling out and Rosie was laughing hysterically as I frantically tried to do something while dough clung to my hands and arms and every other surface in the kitchen. So now I just cover it with a dish towel or loosely placed foil on top of the stove!
Then you break off a chunk and make it into a nice ball.
It rested, and then I baked it!
And then we eat the entire loaf.
When it first comes out of the oven if you put your ear next to it you can hear it crackling as it hits the cool air.
The rest of the dough (enough for 3 more loaves) goes into the fridge and can stay there for up to two weeks so you can bake it on demand. The longer it sits in there the more sourdough flavor it gets.
That means this organic loaf of bread cost less than $1.
I can make 12 loaves of bread with one $3 bag of organic flour and one $3 jar of yeast. (One jar of yeast probably makes 24 loaves or more actually.)
Soon I am going to start experimenting with the other bread recipes in the book. I want to try the caramel cinnamon rolls and the rye bread!