Sunday, March 22, 2009

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes Master Recipe: Boule Recipe

I love to bake bread and most of all I love to eat fresh bread, but I have always struggled with getting it to rise on the boat and the mess it makes on the boat. Here is a simple, no-knead, almost no mess basic bread recipe from the book Artison Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I'm providing the basic and white bread recipe but I really encourage you to buy the book and yes, you can find it down there in the Amazon section of my page. Of course, I downloaded it to my Kindle, but I've found the Kindle is not ideal for this something about using my sticky fingers to turn the page doesn't seem like a good idea. You won't believe the number of recipes you can make from this simple process using different flours and slightly different techniques. The real challenge will be seeing if this works when I get home to 10,600 feet in CO. I'll keep you posted.

The 5 minutes a day title is kind of misleading because it does not include the "resting" and baking times.

I'm going to try to post a link to a video showing the authors of the book going through this process at the bottom of this blog. Keep your fingers crossed.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Basic Boule Dough Recipe

(Artisan Free-Form Bread)

Makes 4 1 lb loaves. The recipe is easily doubled or halved

You can store this dough up to 14 days in your refrigerator in a plastic lidded (non-airtight) container

3 cups of lukewarm water
1 ½ Tablespoons of granulated yeast (1 ½ packets)
1 ½ Tablespoons kosher or other course salt
6 ½ cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour, measured with the scoop-and-sweep method (scoop your measuring cup into flour and sweep off excess with a knife with out pressing or compressing the flour into the cup)

1. Warm the water slightly: about 100 F.

2. Add yeast and salt to the water in a 5 qt bowl or preferably in a resealable, lidded (not airtight plastic container. Don’t worry about getting it all to dissolve.

3. Mix in the flour all at once with a wooden spoon until the mixture is uniform. Don’t knead.

4. Cover with a well fitting, non-airtight lid (I place plastic wrap over the bowl without sealing it). Allow the mixture to rise at room temp until it begins to collapse, approximately 2 hrs. Longer rising times up to 5 hours will not harm the results.

5. You can use the dough at this point, but it is extremely wet and sticky. It is better to refrigerate if for 3 hours, or even better, overnight to make it easier to work with (it’s still very sticky compared to other bread dough)

On Baking Day…

5. The gluten cloak: Don’t knead, just “cloak” and shape a loaf in 30 to 60 seconds. Here’s how. First, prepare a pizza peel (I use any flat thing I have, right now I’m using a piece of tile, you could try a cookie sheet) by sprinkling it liberally with cornmeal ( I can’t find cornmeal right now so I’m using flour but the bread does not slide off easily on to the baking stone) to prevent your loaf from sticking to it when you slide it into the oven.

Sprinkle the surface of your refrigerated dough liberally with flour. Pull up and cut off a 1 lb (grapefruit size) piece of dough, using a serrated knife. Hold the mass of dough in your hands and add more flour as needed so it won’t stick to your hands. Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Most of the dusting flour will fall off; it’s not intended to be incorporated into the dough. The bottom of the loaf may appear to be a collection of bunched ends but they will smooth out when baking. This entire process should take no more than 30-60 seconds. (I actually don’t get how to do this part, I just kind of roll it around in my hands adding a little more flour until it’s not as sticky and shapeable.)

At the bottom of the article there is a link to a video of this process.

6. Place the shaped ball on the cornmeal-covered pizza peel or other flat thing. Allow the loaf to rest on the peel for about 40 minutes (it doesn’t need to be covered). Depending on the age of the dough, you may not see much rise during this period; more rising will occur during baking.

7. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450 F, with a baking stone placed on the lowest rack (I’m using a ceramic tile until I can get back to the land of available baking stones). Place an empty broiler tray, or any shallow pan that will hold a cup of water, on any other shelf that won’t interfere with the rising bread.

8. Dust and slash: dust the top of the loaf liberally with flour which will allow the slashing knife to pass without sticking. Slash a ¼ inch-deep cross into the top using a serrated bread knife.

9. Baking with steam: After a 20-minute preheat, you’re ready to bake, even though your oven thermometer won’t yet be up to full temperature. With a quick forward jerking motion of the wrist, slide the loaf off the pizza peel onto the preheated baking stone. (Using flour, I have to more-like scrape the loaf off onto the stone/tile and then hurriedly reshape it on the hot baking stone/tile) Quickly but carefully pour about 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray and close the oven door to trap the steam. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch.

10. Allow to cool completely, preferable on a wire cooling rack, for the best flavor, texture and slicing.

Crusty White Sandwich Loaf

Makes one loaf

1 ½ pounds (cantaloupe-size portion) Boule dough
Neutral-tasting oil for greasing loaf pan
* You must use a nonstick pan; they work well but still require a light greasing. Wet dough, the kind in this recipe, sticks horribly to traditional pans.1. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1 ½ lb portion. Dust with more flour and quickly shape into a ball as described above.

2. Lightly grease a 9x4x3 inch non-stick loaf pan with a neutral-flavored oil.

3. Elongate the ball into an oval and drop it into the prepared pan. You want to fill the pan slightly more than half full.

4. Allow the dough to rest for 1 hour and 40 minutes (or just 40 minutes if you’re using fresh, unrefrigerated dough). Dust with flour and slash the top crust lengthwise.

5. Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450 F with an empty broiler pan on any shelf that won’t interfere with the rising bread. A baking stone is not essential when using a loaf pan; if you omit the baking pan you can shorten the preheat to 5 minutes.

6. Place the loaf on a rack near the center of the oven. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until brown and firm.

7. Remove the loaf from the pan and allow to cool completely on a rack before slicing.

Here's the video:>Artisan Bread Making


lorib said...

Hi Mary, Thanks for posting the bread recipe. Funny thing is all my friends have been talking about this recipe, and now we have it.

I love your site and was wondering if you have ever considered joining TWITTER? That way we could keep up with you adventures.

Enjoy your day

FirstMateMary said...

You're wlecome,
I'd still encourage buying the book because it uses the basic technique in several different types of bread. I'll have to look into Twitter. I promise I'll get a new blog out in the next day or two.

bytor4232 said...

thankyou thankyou THANKYOU! I've been looking for a way to adapt this into all purpose everyday sammich bread! You saved me dough! Literally! I'm going to try this tomorrow!

FirstMateMary said...

You're vey welcome. If you have any more questions about different uses for the recipe, ask away. I just went out and bought a pizza stone but am doubtful about how it will turn out up here 10,600 ft altitude but now you've got me enthused about trying it. In Mexico I used an old ceramic tile as my pizza stone and it worked great.