Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

by Hannah

I have gotten really into trying different versions of the “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” trend.  I don’t own the book (think it might be worth buying!), but I have been pretty impressed with the recipes I’ve tried.  Initially I got drawn into making the bread because I needed fodder to test our new oven here.  I had to test over and over since everything I put in the oven burned.  I modified all sorts of factors in an attempt to fix the situation, assuming it was me.  I finally called GSO with a detailed argument on why I needed a new thermostat.  They came over and replaced it.  Since that time, it’s just been about finding the best recipe and combination of heating to produce the best loaves in this oven and humidity.

Ryu loves helping:

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Ryu loves helping make the bread.  After incessant tasting of dough, we’ve talked a few times about how he can eat the dough, but that it tastes “yucky” before we bake it.  Now he sees dough and immediately yells “YUCKY!”

There are a few great things about the Artisan bread in 5 minutes:

  1. Only 4 ingredients (flour, water, salt & yeast)
  2. NO kneading required (yes!)
  3. You can mix it together, let it sit, form it and bake it right away
  4. You can let it rise, then put in the fridge for a few days, leading to a sourdough-type flavour
  5. It makes 3 loaves!
  6. it really is only a few minutes of work (mix together, shape, put in oven)

The first recipe I tried is the “official” one from the publishers of the book – you can see it HERE.

Eventually I switched to THIS RECIPE from the Splendid Table (an awesome NPR show about cooking and food) – it is based on the original above, but has a couple minor changes.

After making so much of this bread, I bought some supplies on Amazon so I could better make it – first I got a Danish Dough Whisk, which you can see below:

Danish Dough WhiskWhy?  It is definitely easier to mix the 4 ingredients together with this by hand than any other way.  It is also much easier to clean.

I also got a 6-quart storage container, where the dough is mixed and rises.  If you get one of these, make sure to buy the lid separately and either punch a small hole into it (tiny is enough!), or choose to not snap the lid on each time dough is rising inside.  This will allow the gases produced by the yeast’s growth to escape.

6 quart container

I’ve found with my oven that it works best to pre-heat with both the upper and lower heating elements on, with the pan of water inside.  When I put the bread in, I change the oven to just use the lower heating element on convection.  I also set the temperature lower than is recommended in the recipe.  I think this temperature change may be due to the size of my oven, though.  Every time we live outside the US, we have an oven that is much smaller than an American oven.  I actually like these smaller ovens better, but each needs to have recipes adjusted since they generally run hotter than the overly large US ovens.  With this oven, I set the temp ~25 degrees Celsius lower than the straight Fahrenheit to Celsius conversion.

Not my bread, but this is how it looks:

Artisan bread in 5 minutes

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