You have to stop what you're doing and order THIS BOOK right now. I can't remember where I saw it or heard about it, but my sweet mama saw it on my Amazon Wish List and sent it to me. Lemme just say that I was originally quite skeptical about "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day." Sounded like a gimmick, too good to be true, a hornswaggle, etc.. But I read the reviews and they were good...really, really good. So good that it was sold out when I looked for it. WELL, I am here to tell you that this book is CRAZY fabulous and we have had homemade bread (really good homemade bread) every day since I got it. (OK, actually, not since I got it, but since I cracked it open and started using it.) Miraculous, y'all.The idea is that you make this big batch of very wet dough, then store it in the fridge and cut off parts of it to use whenever you want. ALSO, you put the dough, yeast and water in a big container and STIR it. No kneading. NO KNEADING. You just mix it up in that same container, let it rise for 2 hours, then it's ready to go. Make a loaf right then, put the rest in the fridge and take it out whenever you like!! You have to let the ball (loaf) sit for about 40 minutes after you take it out of the fridge, but, hey, it takes me that long to boil water these days. (If you have small children and houseful of animals, you know what I mean by this. If you don't, don't say a thing and just enjoy another glass of wine, OK?) Once the food is cooking then you just pop it in the oven for 30 minutes. Seriously, this is just the sh*%bomb of all time.
I got this big plastic thing at HEB. It's 7600 ML. The book says you need the container to be 5 quarts. I have no idea how big 7600 ML is except to say it's big enough. It came with a gajillion baby plastic containers inside as well. (I gave those away as I am already drowning in a living hell of random storage containers.) Can I just say again that you mix it all in one container?!?!? And you DO NOT KNEAD it. I don't have any kind of fancy mixer so I just use a wooden spoon. Honestly, I actually have no mixer at all right now. I had my grandma's, but it finally died. Boo hoo. Then I got one from the vortex that is my MIL's garage, but it died too. Why am I talking about mixers? Wooden spoon works just great. I did invest in a Pizza Peel. Fancy, huh? That is a big, wooden paddle thing like you see them use at pizza parlours to get the pizza in and out. I got mine at Zinger's for $16.99. (You can probably get them at Target for $4.99, but then you don't get to go to Zinger's.)
Look at this cute little loaf! (I made the first one kinda tiny. I have no idea why.) Oh, you do need a stone thingee to cook the bread on. We have a pizza stone and it works great. If I didn't already have one, I would probably not buy one. I would just Google, "what to use instead of pizza stone" and see what the Oracle says. (My friend Michael calls the Internet, The Oracle. Isn't that hilarious?) If you do want one, I'm sure you can get them at Target or any such place.
Course, you're gonna need some food to go with your delicious bread so, you next have to wander over to the glorious 101 Cookbooks site. Your cooking life will never be the same, I'm telling you. Now, when I first went over there, I was put off by the fancy ingredients. She lives in San Francisco. Nuff said. Hahhaha. No, really, I just mean that she has access to about 458 farmers' markets every week. And, of course, it's California, where anything and everything grows like gangbusters. But don' t let that freak you out like it did me. Just wabi-sabi it on up. Like, if she says, "Oh, the heritage purple fava beans are sooo divine with the organic leeks!" then you just crack open a can of whatever beans you have and add an onion or some shallots. Really! I do this alllll the time with her recipes and everything is marvelous. I've gotten a little braver since I've been cooking her food and now I do sometimes use the fancier stuff, but you don't have to, promise. (I will say that I am soooo addicted to shallots now. I cannot believe I never used them before!)
This was a combo of the leftover Lemony Chickpea thingee from her site and some black eyed peas poured over homegrown lettuce. You put that in a pan with some butter, crack open a good beer and slather up that hot bread...girl, girl, girl. It's crack. Food crack.
Let me know if you buy the book and what you think. I know what you'll think, I just wanna hear it.