So I promised you guys a treat if you voted. And you were good, right? I mean the voter turnout was amazingly high, so you must have voted. Well, either way, I am not one to renege on a promise so here it is: Artisan Boule Bread! And let me just tell you, this is a treat of legendary proportions…because it’s not just about the bread. Oh no sir! It’s about so much more…
“Hello, my name is….”, well you don’t actually know my real name, do you? Well, if you did, at this point I’d say it, followed by “and I’ve become addicted to baking bread.” Yes, I have gone on a bit of a bread baking bender thanks to the Holy Grail of baking books, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Before a few days ago, I knew nothing of this book (which is truly criminal now that I know the wonders it reveals). But on Monday, I stumbled upon my new favorite blog Pete Bakes and saw his post for a European Peasant Bread, one of many delicious recipes in the aforementioned bible of bread baking (side note: Pete you get a huge virtual high five for pointing me in this book’s direction). The book sounded so intriguing (and the bread looked so good), I went out on my lunch break Tuesday to buy it. Best money I have ever spent…well except for when I bought Big Red.
The concept of the book is simple: make a wet dough that can be refrigerated and used for up to two weeks. Did I mention the dough requires NO KNEADING???? I didn’t? Well then I probably should mention it. All the master recipe calls for is unbleached all purpose flour, yeast, salt and warm water. That’s it. Throw the ingredients into your stand mixer (or if you don’t have one, simply mixing the concoction in a bowl with a wooden spoon works just as well) and mix until all the ingredients are incorporated. The dough is wet at this point (similar to the consistency pictured above) and requires at least two hours of rising time. Once it’s risen, put it in an air tight container and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it. Simple…easy peasy. I love you Zoe and Jeff (the authors of the book…not just some random people I’ve oddly declared my love for mid blog post)!
Not only is the master recipe amazingly easy to make, it is versatile. With this one recipe, you can make four loaves of different breads. You can make the boule, as I have done, or a baguette, a batard, breads with various fillings, even cinnamon rolls! And the book doesn’t just stop with a master recipe for a boule. There are bagels, brioches, peasant loaves, oatmeal breads…well you get the drift. And I think you can sense tons and tons of bread posts in Shaw Girl’s future. Yes, my name is Shaw Girl and I have a bread baking addiction.