A few years ago, my brother-in-law mentioned that he started making homemade bread. My thoughts we’re something like, “what!?!?! homemade bread!?!? how do you have time for that? that sounds so complicated!” He assured me that it was none of the above, and would only take a few minutes of my day. He tried to explain to me how it was done, but I think that I was in such disbelief that I wasn’t completely listening.
A few months after this conversation, and slightly more invested in cooking, the Mr. and I were perusing our local Barnes & Noble, and I decided to just take a peek at the cookbook that my brother-in-law was using to bake his bread, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I pulled the book off the shelf, flipped through it and felt unconvinced. Here is the conversation that then transpired between myself and the Mr:
Mr: “What do you think?”
Me: “I don’t have time for this right now, I’m too busy.”
Mr: (laughter) “You don’t have five minutes?”
Me: “Very funny, I know, but it probably does take more than five minutes!”
Well, it took me a few more months, but I finally picked up my own copy of the book; and it turns our that their claim is correct. It only takes 5 minutes, and anyone can do it, it is so simple!
I always keep a batch of the “Master Recipe” in my fridge because it keeps for up to two weeks, and it can be used to make so many different things. Here’s how easy it is to make:
In the bowl of your stand mixer, add your yeast, salt and warm water, and mix those together for a few seconds.
Then add your flour and slowly mix until it starts to pull together.
Once your dough has pulled together into a ball, dump it into your bread bucket.
Let it rise at room temperature for 2 hours, and that’s it! Presto, your dough is ready! It is so great that you don’t have to kneed it, or use multiple rises. It is literally 5 minutes of work for a batch of dough that will last you 2 weeks. (Although it normally doesn’t last 2 weeks, because having homemade bread is sooo much better than anything store bought!)
When I make baguette, all I have to do is shape the dough, let it sit on the counter for 20 minutes, and then bake it for 20-25 minutes.
We also completely love using the dough to make homemade pizza. All you have to do is roll out your dough to your desired thickness, top it and bake it on your pizza stone!
The Master Recipe is so versatile, I also use it to make a round shaped boule bread, naan bread, homemade sandwich bread, english muffins, focaccia, and probably other things that I can’t remember off the top of my head.
I also love to make a batch of their brioche dough which I use to make hot dog buns, hamburger buns, cinnamon raisin bread, challah, cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing, pecan sticky buns and more! The list goes on, it is amazing to me all of the things that you can make from one dough; and everything tastes so much better than any store or restaurant.
Looking back, it is really funny that I thought that I didn’t have 5 minutes to spare!!! I guess that I just needed some time to be ready to start this breadventure :) I don’t want to get all crazy and say that this book is life changing, but seriously…this book is life changing! Making homemade bread is so satisfying, fun and most importantly tasty. So if you have a few extra minutes to spare, then give this a whirl, I’m breading you won’t regret it!
(Also take a look at their great website Artisan Bread in Five, they post so many great new recipes and always answer any questions you have.)