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I’m a Breadmaking Machine

On one of my new podcasts of The Splendid Table, Lynn spoke to Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois about their book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery that Revolutionizes Home Baking. It was a short segment, but I was instantly intrigued.

I love the idea of fresh bread — bread which contains only what I decide goes in. My grandma makes wonderfully delicious bread herself. And I have made attempts in the past, but who has time (or counter space) for all the kneading and rising and everything?

So Jeff & Zoe’s book has a “master recipe” which can be found on the Splendid Table site. And then apparently the book has all kinds of variations for those more adventurous. I admit, I did read the preview of the first part of the book to get additional tips, but I do intend to buy the book to support them.

I bought the flour and gigantic container of yeast granules with a confidence that surprised even me. I had a big container that fits in the door of my fridge, and so I mixed up the dough as directed, let it rise, and then refrigerated it overnight.

The next day, I lopped off a hunk of dough, formed it into a bit of a log, and after resting, baked it. It was beautiful. I should have taken photos. The next day I tried again with the oven temp down slightly and left it in a bit longer. I was approaching perfection. I MAKE BREAD, people!

The dough can stay in the fridge for up to two weeks, and as it ages, it develops more sourdough flavour. It’s so simple to mix up. There’s no kneading involved. In fact, you’re meant to handle it as little as possible.

The other night, Hans took some out and after resting, he pressed out a couple little pizza crusts. The dough is pretty sticky, so we used a lot of flour on the hands and cutting board. We also sprinkled polenta on the pizza stone to help remove after baking. The pizza turned out amazing, and I’m sure this will become a regular treat.

I recommend everyone give it a try! Have a look at the author’s website: You can also do a Google search, and you’ll find tons of people talking about their experiences too.

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  1. Aimee C says

    The bread making links have me all excited. Thanks!

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