Simple Living Board Retrieved Aug 19, 2009
Basic crusty bread recipe from â€œArtisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,â€ by Jeff Hertzberg and ZoÃ« FranÃ§ois (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007)
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough
1. In a large bowl or plastic container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose/wet. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).
2. Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and cut off a grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.
3. Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.
4. Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely. (it will crackle while it's cooling, which is pretty neat)
If you like crusty-outside, extremely tender inside "artisan" bread, OMG this is so good. The loaves are pretty small, though I was able to double the size of the loaf (getting two out of the initial mix rather than four). But it's so easy, I've pretty much just been baking a loaf of fresh dough a day, and it's really no extra work. Though you can bake it the same day as you make the dough, I agree with the authors that it does best after at least 24 hours in the fridge, I think because it's so much easier to handle when cold.
Here's a video of the authors demonstrating/talking about the recipe. (http://www.startribune.com/video/11967361.html)
Folks on the SL board say that you can even bake the bread in a covered Corelle dish. I'm faint with anticipation. I've never had much success with yeast breads and now it appears that I may indeed be able to make my own bread.