Around fall of last year, I came across this Instructable online for “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.” It seemed too good to be true – a no-knead bread dough that you mix, store in the refrigerator, and break a chunk off of whenever you want to bake bread?
Well, it is that easy. I won’t repost the entire recipe here, as the Instructables site does a great job (with photos and video) of explaining exactly how to do it. I halve the recipe and keep it in a plastic “shoe box” type container in the fridge. You knead nothing. You mix your dry and wet ingredients in the container, and it doesn’t even look “right” when you’re done. It looks kind of like a sticky mess. Throw it in the fridge and leave it there for a few days or weeks.
The receipe bakes a fantastic, artisan-style bread with a thick, delicious crust. Part of the secret to the great crust is cooking the bread on a pizza stone or terra-cotta tile, and pouring water into the oven broiler pan right before you close the door. The combo of the stone and steam bake this bread into perfection.
The dough gets better the longer you leave it in the fridge too. I’ve left it up to three weeks at a time, and the yeast develops more complex flavors the longer it sits. You can break smaller chunks of dough off to make rolls with too.
With the price of artisan breads these days… this is an amazing, cheap alternative. The comments under the Instructables recipe will attest to how easy & good it is too. The recipe comes from a book by the same name, and I really need to pick it up and check out more of the recipes. If they’re half as good as this one, I’d guess it would be a worthy addition to my cookbook shelf.
Now, for more photos of my bread… can you believe I made this? Mmm!