I used to hear stories about my grandmother getting together with her friend once a month and making 20 loaves of bread not to mention doughnuts and buns and rolls. Can you imagine? A whole day devoted to breadmaking and friendship building? I have my grandmother's recipe for this monthly ordeal, but I have yet to find the friend that wants to spend all day doing it!
Several years ago, I heard about this book called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoe Francois. It is still available on Amazon if your are interested! This book make my bread baking experience something I felt really proud to share with friends and family. Almost everyone I know has experienced a loaf of this bread at some time or another, because I make it THAT much. I mean, just look at the condition of my book (14 years old!).
As years have gone by, I went from making several of the recipes in the book to just the first one and then adding whatever I want to it. Here are some of my favorite additions:
The basic recipe is this. You mix these four ingredients together:
3 cups warm water
1 1/2 Tbsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
6 1/2 cups flour
after mixing well, let sit on countertop with a lid that is not airtight (I learned why the hard way) for 3 hours. Then place in the refrigerator - again with a lid that is NOT airtight. This dough works best when chilled for a couple of hours.
Preheat oven and covered baking dish to 450°.
For a large loaf, use all of the dough. Place on floured surface. Add your chosen additions (or none) across the disk shaped dough. Roll, tuck edges and place in greased, preheated baking dish. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove lid. Lower baking temperature to 400°. Continue baking for 15 minutes, remove and let cool. Awe...... For a small loaf, use 1/4 of the dough. I use enameled coated cast iron pans for this.
I am a recently retired small town librarian living the dream in Montana in my boujee yet redneck kind of way. Married to a mining engineer and mother to two wonderful young men.