Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm a Bread Baker

One of my favorite things is fresh baked bread straight from the oven. It's warm and yeasty and yummy. I've made bread the old fashioned way a few times and it was a lot of work. A lot of work! One year, I bought my mother a bread machine for Mother's day or something like that and we enjoyed fresh bread that way. The bread was okay from the machine, not wonderful just okay.

I've recently been hearing about the "no-knead" method of bread baking and instantly became interested. The book that had me intriqued is the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. I checked my library for the book but they didn't have it. Luckily our library is part of a book sharing system for our entire state. I ordered the book from another library and it arrived a couple of days ago.

I'm now a bread baker.

The "no-knead" method works by making a very wet dough that you let sit in your fridge for up to 2 weeks. Here is my dough after I'd taken some dough out for my first loaf. The batch makes 4 loaves.

You put the dough in the fridge in a lidded (but not sealed) container. Look at all the air bubbles in the dough. The bread will continue to make air bubbles that you don't want to knock out of the bread when you form it or it will be a very dense loaf.

My formed loaf resting/rising just before baking.

Can you smell it? It is starting to smell wonderful in my kitchen. The bread is baking on a pizza stone.

Here's the finished loaf. It baked just a tad too long. The crust was a bit dark but it still tasted great!

I've made another loaf the other day that we ate fresh from the oven. It was amazing bread. Next I'm gonna make an olive bread. That's on my "to do" list for today.

*update* The olive bread just came out of the oven and it smells wonderful. We'll be eating it with some great hummus.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip!
One of the things that is so great about fall is baking breads, making soups and chowders, don't you agree?

Jeff Hertzberg said...

I'm Jeff Hertzberg, one of the co-authors of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I'm so glad our recipes are working well for you. Come visit us anytime at, where you can post questions into any "Comments" field, or click on "Bread Questions" on the left side of the homepage and choose among the options.

Jeff Hertzberg

Chicago tribune video: