For Christmas, my parents gave me Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. So far, I love this book. I started with the boule, or the master recipe. You mix the dough, let it rise for a couple of hours and then stick it in the refrigerator to keep for up to two weeks. You cut off a hunk, form the loaf, let it rest and then bake. The recipe supposedly makes four loaves of bread. And it does, if you like really small loaves.
Above is loaf number one. I followed the directions to the letter for this one and had some issues. After much consulting with Sarah and Emily, I think my house is not warm enough to let the dough rise properly after I take it out of the refrigerator.
With loaf number two, I let the dough rest for 2 hours (instead of the 40 minutes) before I put it in the oven. That did the trick - this one was far better.
For loaf number three, I decided to try the baguette. It is made using the same basic dough recipe. Again, I let it rest longer before I put it in the oven - about 1 1/2 hours instead of 20 minutes. Apparently, I did not slash the top deep enough so it really isn't as pretty as I had hoped. It didn't matter - it was really good. So far, this one is my favorite.
I'm anxious to try another recipe from this book - perhaps a sandwich loaf. It's really nice to have the dough sitting in the fridge, ready to go at my whim. I'm also thinking up ways to get my girls in on the action. It really is easy enough for kids to do with some supervision.
Before I mix up another batch from this book, I am going back to the dutch oven, no-knead variety like Leslie just made. It's been awhile since I made that and I want to do a little comparing. I'll let you know how it all turns out.