Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bread in 5 minutes a Day - Recipe & Review

A few weeks ago I ordered Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day & Healthy Bread in 5 minutes a day. I had seen the YouTube video from the authors showing how easy it was to bake fresh bread even for those who bread challenged (which I am lol. Baking bread has been until now my "downfall" in my baking. I love to bake from scratch or add extra ingredients to box mixes to make my cakes, cookies and brownies taste their best and have been baking for as long as I can remember. However when I would try to make bread or biscuits they would be more like weapons then food. No matter what I did they would be hard one or more of these - as rocks, taste like chalk, burnt on outside, dough on the inside. No matter what I did, what recipe I tried I just couldn't get it right. Until I got these books and dug in. My first batch of bread was their base recipe that you can find on YouTube Artisan Bread In Five.  It only took about 10 minutes to mix up the dough and refrigerate it. The next morning I made two small loaves and crossed my fingers. They turned out amazing, my kids & husband loved them. The outside was crusty, inside was dense a really basic but great french bread. My oldest thought it was the neatest thing that I could make bread lol. So yesterday I decided to try another recipe this time for a Challah which is a sweeter dough that could be used to make a softer crust bread (along with cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls and a long list of others). If you have the book the recipe is on page 180, if not you can find it below.


1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbs granulated yeast (or 2 packets)
1 1/2 tbs Kosher salt
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter or vegetable oil
7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
egg wash - 1 egg beaten with 1 tbs water
poppy or sesame seeds for the top  (I omitted the egg wash & seeds as my kids wouldn't have eaten them)

Using a 5 quart bowl with lid (not airtight) mix the first 6 ingredients together

 Then mix in the flour WITHOUT KNEADING, using a spoon, one cup at a time

Cover dough (not airtight) and let rise for 2 hours, it will have doubled in size and then this dough can be used as is or put in the refrigerator and used over the next 5 days.

I chose to make 1 loaf now and refrigerate the rest for later, for my loaf I did the traditional Challah braided rope. Starting with about a grapefruit size ball of dough (approx 1 lb) Dust the ball with flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, roatating the ball a quarter turn as you go. Then divide the ball into thirds, roll the balls between your hands one at a time streching to form each into a long rope. Braid the ropes starting from the center and working to one end. Allow the bread to rest for 20 minutes if fresh dough is used (40 if from refrigerated dough). Preheat the oven to 350 about 10 minutes before you add your bread.

once the bread has risen pop it into the oven, 25 minutes later your bread will be nice and golden brown and have a soft pillowy consistency similar to white bread.

Well that's it, I hope you enjoyed my first time writing a recipe & review.


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