I love cooking but I’m intimidated by baking (don’t know why). But we are desperate for some good, organic bread that doesn’t cost $5 and that is right at hand in the kitchen and pantry. So when I read this Master Recipe for a boule from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe François – available on Mother Earth News – I knew I couldn’t lose by trying.
It literally takes 5 minutes to make the dough (enough for 4 1 lb loaves). After letting it rise for a minimum of 2 hours you refrigerate it for a minimum of 3 hours and a maximum of 2 weeks. On baking day you pull it out of the fridge, cut off a chunk and take 5 minutes to prepare it for baking (about 30 minutes). No need for several rises and, best of all, no kneading.
And voila, le boule:
It was not the failure I was expecting—What is wrong with me! It’s great! I’m on my third slice, with just butter.
I will adjust the cooking time a bit, and I’ll put more salt into the next batch. The idea is to proceed to the heavier, more nutritious breads, like the thick and moist whole grain bread I used to devour as a kid. I remember the loaf came with a small white wafer stuck on top. But this was my first-ever bread, and I know better than to take each re-skilling effort beyond my nearest scaffold.
I now also keep a roll of basic sugar cookie dough in the fridge. When we feel like cookies, I preheat the oven, slice off as many as we want, and within 15 minutes we’re munching on them.
I might become a baker after all.
And after baking I keep the oven door open so we can benefit again from all that residual heat.