Less Effort, but not Effortless, this bread takes a bit of waiting but is worth it
Since I found the link to the recipe for Artisan Bread, I’ve made 6 loaves from three batches and I currently have dough in my fridge that will make one more loaf. You wouldn’t find one in my house just sitting around because they last about as long as it takes me to slice and serve it up. You can find the link here although it takes some reading to decipher the whole process. So for the ratios and the original recipe, you should visit the site or order the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.
In this post are pictures of the process and actual time needed, because a few of my friends have asked the question, “Is it really 5 minutes?”
Deep pan, capable of holding 1 cup of water
Flat baking sheet, covered with cornmeal
4 Quart bowl or larger, this needs to be able to fit in your refrigerator, though
Another bowl for mixing the yeast, salt, and 3 cups of water
I mix the yeast, salt, and warm to the touch water all together. Then, with the flour in the 4 qt bowl, I slowly pour the yeast mixture into the flour. It turns out a wet dough after it is all mixed. Do not knead.
My bowl has a lid, so I loosely cover it allowing for a bit of air to intrude but not to dry any of the dough. Leave it for at least 2 hours at room temperature. After the rising time, the dough will have risen to the top and be a bit flat.
Once it has risen, you can use it or refrigerate it for up to two weeks. Wet your hands, then, to make a loaf about the size of the one at the top, grab about half the dough and twist it off. Quickly take from the top of the dough and fold some to the back over and over, turning as you go maybe about 8 times or so, until the dough is basically smooth on top. I plop it down on the cornmeal covered flat baking sheet and let it rest for 40 minutes at room temp. About 20 minutes in to the resting time, I place my stone into the oven and turn the heat on to 450 degrees F. The stone is on the middle rack and just below that I place the deep pan. After the resting time, I heavily flour the top of the dough and slice a design into it.
At this point, I fill a cup full of hot water and set it to the side of my oven. I get rid of the excess cornmeal and flour around the dough and carefully slide the dough onto the stone in the oven. I pour the cup of hot water into the deep pan and quickly close the door to seal in the steam (which helps the crust get crisp). Thirty minutes later, it is ready to take out and cool for about 5 minutes. Then, yumminess!!
So you see, little effort but LOTS of waiting. Once you’ve made the dough, you’re about an hour from fresh bread. On the website that I’m referring to, they give the ratios for doubling the dough if you wanted to make more all at once. Hope that helps!