Ohmygosh, is there ANYTHING more delicious than warm, homebaked bread... fresh from the oven, buttered lightly? Oh, YUM! I think I could LIVE on it! Honestly, just the SMELL of bread baking makes me happy! (Really!)
Up until recently, though, I have not been much of a bread baker. I love to cook, I like to bake... but baking bread? (From scratch? With yeast and kneading and rising, ohmy?) Um, not so much!
That is, until a dear friend turned me on to this book:
ARTISAN BREAD IN FIVE MINUTES A DAY
The premise of this technique is that in just a few minutes you can mix up a big batch of basic dough (only 4 ingredients... flour, water, yeast and salt) and store it in your fridge. Thereafter, you just pull out, when you need it, enough dough for a loaf; quickly flour and shape it, let it sit for a few minutes, then bake. (Really, that's all. No kneading, rising, punching, re-kneading, re-rising, re-punching...it's fool-proof -- without angst!!!)
Thirty minutes later you have a rustic loaf of fresh, warm, DELICIOUS homemade bread. It really is just 5 minutes (at the most) of active "working" time.
In my humble bread-loving opinion, fresh, warm homemade bread takes simple weeknight meals to a new level. Even something basic and easy like spaghetti and meatballs is just so much more delicious and *FUN* with a slice of warm bread (or 2... or 3...) on the side!
So... here are photos of my first loaf. What do you think?!
(I wish I would have gotten a few pictures before I cut into it, but I couldn't wait... sorry! It really is THAT good!)
I've been experimenting a little bit... using different flours (I like whole wheat)... different salts, etc. The recipes are basically idiot-proof, and every single time I have ended up with a wonderful, delicious loaf of bread.
The book is fun and chock full of recipes and ideas. I have only scratched the surface of possibilities. I totally recommend it!