When you’re a total beginner at something and you put your mind to it, you often see huge spurts of improvement.
I’m sure that’s what is happening here. But…nonetheless. ZOMG! LOOK AT THIS THING:
That right there? That’s a pretty impressive loaf of bread, if I do say so myself!
My second batch of dough made via the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day method was definitely a step up from the first. This was the first of two loaves from the batch. Look at how closely it resembles the picture on the cover of the book!
Things I did differently to the dough batch this time around:
– I used WARM water instead of cool-ish when mixing the yeast initially. I still don’t have a thermometer, but I conjured some imagery and did my best to guess. 100* is the temperature of hot tub water, so I tried to imagine whether I’d squeal if I stuck my toes in it after a day of skiing.
– I let the initial rise go for about three hours, instead of two.
– I added some chopped dried rosemary.
My dough batch made enough dough for two loaves (half of the recipe). For the first loaf (pictured above), I pulled half of the refrigerated dough out the following afternoon. I shaped it and let it rise for about an hour.
The result: a puffy loaf with a delightful crust, with just a hint of rosemary flavor. (Next time I’ll add more herbs!)
The only unfortunate part was that it was consumed within 24 hours. O HAI, carb coma!
I digested for a few days – and then was ready to make the second loaf. The dough had been sitting in the refrigerator for several days, and even though the book insists that wet dough can be refrigerated for up to a week, I had my doubts about it.
I scraped it out this morning, shaped it into a dome, and placed it strategically on top of the dryer with a load of warm clothing rumbling gently below.
(The ever-present layer of drying sports bras kept it company.)
After 90 minutes, I was truly surprised that it seemed to have almost doubled in size. I sprinkled some coarse sea salt on top and popped it in the oven.
Although it was slightly denser than the first loaf, this one had a delicious, slightly sour flavor. Almost like sourdough. Salty, chewy sourdough.
Have I mentioned that I’m never buying bread from the grocery store again?
Next up? I just might try my hand at a baguette. Dangerous.
And oh-hey-guess-what? As a thank you for putting up with my excessive yammering about bread-making, I’m having a giveaway!
The folks at Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day have agreed to give a free copy to one of you! I think this is pretty awesome, because I do think it’s a damn fine book. As someone who has never been good at baking anything, I’m floored at how easy making bread has been, following the guidelines outlined in this book. And the fact that it’s co-written by a trained pastry chef and a regular dude who just really likes bread makes the prose very easy – and even enjoyable – to read.
Anyway, entering is simple:
- Like Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day on on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/BreadIn5?ref=mf) and leave me a comment telling me you did.
- Follow @ArtisanBreadIn5 on Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/ArtisanBreadIn5) and leave me a comment telling me you did.
- Tweet/FB about this giveaway, blog about this giveaway, or write a poem about this giveaway and share it with the class and leave me a comment telling me you did.
*Update 5/5/11: Giveaway has closed, but feel free to leave a comment if you just wanna chat about delicious bread or write random poetry!*