Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Five-Minute Artisan Bread

I have had a love-hate relationship with homemade bread over the years. I love the taste of homemade bread, but I hate kneading. I just can't get it right. I have tried using a breadmaker, and also the dough hook on my stand mixer, to avoid the whole kneading problem - but I just haven't been able to make bread with the texture that I want.

Then I found this recipe online. Fancy looking bread that you don't have to knead - really? Am I dreaming? I had to try it. The recipe looked pretty easy, and reviews online made it sound like you couldn't mess it up. I tried it for the first time last week. One word: wonderful. This bread is so easy to make, and it is delicious. Baking it on a pizza stone gives it a lovely crust. We were very happy with the flavor. I love that you make a big batch and just store it in your fridge for whenever you want fresh bread. We had our second loaf tonight, and it was even better than the first. The flavor changes a little over time, becoming more sourdough-like the longer it sits in the fridge.

One tip that I have found helpful - since the dough is pretty wet, it can be difficult to transfer to the baking stone. I don't have a pizza peel, so I just put a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and put my dough on there to rest. When it's time to put the bread in the oven, I slide the dough and the parchment paper onto the stone. I let the bread bake for three minutes, then open the oven and pull the parchment paper out from underneath the bread.

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