Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I am an Artisan Bread Maker

I managed to get my little hands on the last copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day at the Borders yesterday. Yipee! Today, I set out to get some "necessary" supplies. Baking stone, success. The book also said I needed a pizza peel, but I decided that my wooden cutting board could do the trick just fine (it did). I also happened to walk away from my favorite housewares store, Down to Earth, with a cookie cutter set and a lot of chocolate. Oops!

Meet my mixer, Little Blue:

When I got home and started prepping to make the bread, I realized that I only had King Arthur All-Purpose flour (a new full bag, of course). That's the one brand the book recommends against using because of its abnormally high protein content. I may have winged (wung?) it ordinarily, but since this is my first time using this method (and I'm intent on teaching myself properly. Such a nerd.), I wanted to follow the directions as closely as possible. So I went out and got a 10-lb. bag of good ol' Gold Medal flour, which did the trick just fine. After spending the whole morning doing bread-related errands, I finally got to work!

Before rising (purple plastic wrap is a MUST in any professional kitchen):

After rising (ahh the wonder of yeast):

I ran into another snafu when I finished making the dough and needed to put it into a 5-qt container to rise and store. The biggest vessel I have is a 4-qt bowl. Oops! It wound up working out fine, but I need to invest in a real container since I use that bowl a lot and can't have it taking up valuable refrigerator real estate.

Overall, making this bread was SO. easy. And pretty fun, too! Now I have a big fat bowl of dough in the fridge waiting to be used over the next 2 weeks (that's where the 5 minutes comes in, there's the small initial time investment for each big batch of dough, then you just break off a chunk and throw it in the oven whenever you want some bread).

Honestly, I'm not quite sure what about this bread makes it "artisan" (did I skip that part in the book?). I still feel like quite an amateur. But hey, it tasted awesome and it made everyone here very happy. That's all that matters, right?


(wife.) said...

Dude! That looks awesome!!! Maybe it's b/c you used your Artisan mixer. :-)

Zoe Francois said...

Your bread is gorgeous! Thank you so much for trying out the book, I'm so pleased you are enjoying all the bread.

As you work through all the recipes be sure to visit us at www.artisanbreadinfive.com where there are more recipes and ideas.

Thanks! Zoƫ

(wife.) said...

HA! I just saw the first comment on here from (bride.) - tee hee! OK, I'm going to get this book. xo

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