Life changing recipe
As promised, here is the info on the recipe that has literally changed my life. At the beginning of this year, I was listening to an episode of The splendid table when I heard a fellow named Jeff Hertzberg discussing his new book Artisan bread in five minutes a day Being a die hard breadaholic, the interview immediately sparked my interest. He was declaring that you could mix up a batch of bread dough, not even knead it, and keep it for up to two weeks to use whenever and however you see fit.
I promptly tried out the "master recipe" expecting an absolute failure. I formed and baked a small loaf to have with dinner. I say, it was the best bread I have ever made in my life. I admit, I am no master baker, but I do know my way around a mixing bowl. And once again it was absolutely the best bread I had ever made. It was crusty, chewy, it smelled fantastic, it tasted fantastic, and it was pretty. It looked just like the picture on the cover of the book. Now for the nitty griity on making the "master recipe" and a little history on how Jeff and coauthor Zoë François developed this process.
I have been using this method for nearly a year now, and it really has changed my life. I always have bread dough ready to make what ever concoction I can dream up. From pizza to french boules to ciabatta buns I have made it all. No more planning to make bread. I can do it at the spur of the moment. No more lugging out the bread machine and waiting an hour, for it to make a less than spectacular dough.
A few things I must say. You REALLY need the baking stone. Jeff and Zoë recommend regular all purpose flour. I like a mixture of King Author bread flour and King Author AP flour and reduce the amount in the recipe by about a half a cup. The bread flour has a higher protein content and results in a denser chewier crumb, which I happen to prefer.
One of the most amazing things to me, is that Zoë and Jeff have generously distributed the foundation for the book. The "master recipe". You don't have to buy their book, to begin using their method of bread baking. However, the book is absolutely worth it. There are so many recipes and other doughs that it really is a nice cookbook to add to your collection.
More on using it as the base for my pizza coming up soon.