Easy Great Bread at Home in 5 Minutes

I’ve written about my sourdough baking, and I got comments and emails about people’s love of home-made fresh bread. But it’s an hours-long process, requiring attentive measuring and careful timing, with uncertain results, particularly for newbie bakers. With Farm-to-Market’s wonderful bread on supermarket shelves, and Fervere producing some of the best breads in the world, you can avoid the whole hassle for 4 or 5 bucks.

But you can make your whole house smell like baking bread for cents a loaf, and be rewarded with a truly top-notch bread, way up there with Farm-to-Market, without worry and without scheduling your day around it. I don’t mean to sound like a street corner evangelist, or a side-show barker, but, seriously, I mean YOU, you should have fresh bread this week.

The secret is cold, wet dough. You spend a few minutes mixing together 3 cups of water, a table spoon and a half of yeast, two teaspoons of salt (more or less, depending on your taste), and six and a half cups of flour in a bowl with a spoon (no kneading), let it sit, covered loosely, for a couple hours, then put it in your refrigerator. Over the next couple weeks (if it lasts that long), you put flour on your hands, grab a grapefruit sized chunk of it, shape it into a sticky ball, let it rest for 40 minutes, and then bake it in a 450 degree oven for half an hour or so. Your hands are dirty for under 5 minutes, and you’ll be pulling an awesome loaf of bread out of the oven in less time than it takes for 3 episodes of “Scrubs”.

I meant to post a picture of one of the loaves I made this week, but it fell victim to breakfast toast.

If you want to learn more, and make the bread even better, this article is what turned me on to this miracle method, and it has a few tips that are absolutely worth it, like using a pizza stone and putting a pan of water in when you bake the bread. The authors of the article also have a blog and a couple books (Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking and Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients). I haven’t even read the books yet – the Kansas City Public Library (yea, Waldo Branch!) is working on it for me – but I’ve been wildly impressed with the breads I’ve made over the past couple weeks.

One Response to “Easy Great Bread at Home in 5 Minutes”

  1. Mike says:

    I’ve been making this for several months now to great acclaim. I see that you use only 2t salt while the Mother Jones recipe calls for 1.5T – maybe some day I’ll get reckless and risk messing with perfection…

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