Breads: Bread in Five Minutes a Day

It isn't the best bread but it's easy and way better than a bread machine. You should really eat it the day you make it. this comes from the "Bread in Five Minutes a Day" cookbook.
Photo by Sharon E.

PREP TIME

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minutes

TOTAL TIME

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minutes

SERVINGS

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servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

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servings

Ingredients

  • 3 3 1/2

    cups (1 1/2 pounds) lukewarm water

  • to

    can use cold water, but it will take the dough longer to rise. Just don’t use hot water or you may kill the yeast)

  • 1 1

    1 tablespoon granulated yeast or one packet

  • 1 to 1 1/2 1 to 1 1/2

    1/2 tablespoons Morton Kosher Salt

  • to

    to suit your taste or eliminate it all together.)

  • 6 1/2 6 1/2

    1/2 cups (2-pounds) all-purpose flour

  • (we’ve always tested our recipes with Gold Medal flour, check the protein.)

Directions

In a 5 or 6 quart bowl or lidded dough bucket, dump in the water, and add the yeast and salt. Don't wait for proofing. Immediately dump in the flour all at once and stir with a long handled wooden spoon or a Danish Dough Whisk, which is one of the tools that makes the job so much easier! Stir it until all of the flour is incorporated into the dough, it will be a wet rough dough. Put the lid or plastic wrap on the container, but do not snap it shut. You want the gases from the yeast to escape. Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for about 2 hours to rise. DO NOT PUNCH DOWN THE DOUGH! Just let it settle by itself. The dough will be flat on the top and some of the bubbles may even appear to be popping. Refrigerate up to 14 days (leave small opening the first two days, i leave it partially open all 14 days cause I don't like the fermented taste). Refrigerate at least 24 hours before you intend to make bread. The next day when you pull the dough out of the refrigerator you will notice that it has collapsed and this is totally normal for our dough. It will never rise up again in the container. Dust the surface of the dough with a little flour each time you pull out dough...just enough to prevent it from sticking to your hands when you reach in to pull a piece out. You should notice that the dough has a lot of stretch once it has rested. (If your dough breaks off instead of stretching like this your dough is probably too dry and you can just add a few tablespoons of water and let it sit again until the dough absorbs the additional water.) Cut off a 1-pound piece of dough using kitchen shears and form it into a ball. You will need to dust heavily with flour (dump it into a bowl of flour) and quickly pull the top of the dough to the bottom using quarter turns (your hands will cup the dough). Place the ball on a sheet of parchment paper… (or rest it on a generous layer of corn meal on top of a pizza peel.) Let the dough rest for at least 40 minutes (although letting it go 60 or even 90 minutes will give you a more open hole structure in the interior of the loaf. This may also improve the look of your loaf and prevent it from splitting on the bottom.) You will notice that the loaf does not rise much during this rest, in fact it may just spread sideways, this is normal for our dough. (You can also stick shaped dough in fridge overnight and then bring to room temp before baking.) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a baking stone on the center rack, with a metal broiler tray on the bottom (never use a glass vessel for this or it will shatter), which will be used to produce steam. (The tray needs to be at least 4 or 5 inches away from your stone to prevent it from cracking.) Dust the top of the loaf with flour. Cut the loaf with 1/2-inch slashes using a very sharp serrated knife (scallop pattern or cross pattern). (If your slashes are too shallow you will end up with an oddly shaped loaf and also prevent it from splitting on the bottom.) If your dough is collapsing when you make the slashes, it may be that the dough has overproofed or your knife is dull and dragging the dough too much. Slide the loaf into the oven onto a preheated stone and add a cup of hot water to the broiler tray. Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes or until a DEEP brown color (go by color vs. time). As the bread bakes you should notice a nice oven spring in the dough. This is where the dough rises. If you used parchment paper you will want to remove it after about 20-25 minutes to crisp up the bottom crust. Continue baking the loaf directly on the stone for the last 5-10 minutes. Allow the loaf to cool on a rack until it is room temperature (about 2 hours). If you cut into a loaf before it is cooled you will have a tough crust and a gummy interior. You can also make rolls. Just don't add the water for steam and baking time is closer to 20-25 minutes. You can eat these hot!

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