Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Homebaked Bread

I grew up eating good bread. Good bakery bread for my mother wasn't a baker. But we didn't buy grocery store loaves in celophane but rather good heavy loaves of great bread from the bakery. My favorite was egg with the poppy seeds on the top crust.

In early married days I baked bread. Our daily bread as well as rolls for special dinners. But we moved and got a different stove and bread baking went by the wayside.

Really good bread is hard to find on the prairie. We have grocery store bakery bread but that isn't like the bread from a really good bakery. We'd always get several loaves when we went to the city and upon arriving home would have several thick slices slathered in butter.

And then . . . . along came "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day"by Jeff Hertzberg & Zoe Francois

It is great bread. It truly only takes five minutes of my time. The loaf is not large but that's perfect for the two of us. Fresh bread is always better.

A nice round flour dusted loaf with a crispy crust and a soft interior. PERFECT bread!

Of course, the smell wafting through the house is heavenly whenever we have a loaf in the oven.
It truly is great bread. It's a rustic country loaf. And if you have an oven, you, too, can become a bread baker. It is THAT easy!

Rustic Artisan Bread
(In Five Minutes)
(Based on the recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day by Jeff Hertzberg & Zoe Francois)

3 cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 1/2 T. yeast (I use a French one from Williams Sonoma)
1 1/2 T. salt
6 1/2 cups flour (I use all purpose)

Put water in a large container, add yeast and salt. Stir. Add flour and stir again until flour is well mixed.

Cover container (do not use Tupperware or anything that seals tightly -- you want it lidded but not sealed) and let sit for 2 hours. Dough will rise during this period.

At this point, you can take a grapefruit size peice, roll into a nice ball and put on a cornmeal covered paddle. OR you can put the whole container still covered in the fridge.

When ready to bake, dust dough with flour and take out a grapefruit size piece. Mold into a ball and put on a cornmeal covered paddle.

Let rise for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn the oven on to 450 with a baking stone on the middle shelf and the broiler pan on the bottom. Let rise an additional 20 minutes. (40 Minutes total rising time). Slide bread onto hot stone. Pour 1 cup hot water into broiler pan. Bake for 30 minutes until brown and crusty and hollow when tapped.


Anonymous said...

OH, I can almost smell your bread, Martha! What a beautiful loaf and I would like a nice warm slice with butter! :)
Chloe Dawn thanks you! If Schnauzers aren't kept groomed, they would look a mess! I have to take her once a month. He fur is very soft and fine and curly! It mats up. I hate she got this bad, but I wanted to record it! :)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Sherry said...

That sounds great! I'll have to try it.

Pondside said...

Did I get rid of my baking stone in the last move? I can't wait to get home and look. I swear that I could smell the bread and feel the crust.
One of my fondest food memories is of a thick, fresh piece of 'graubrot' from a German bakery - the kind of bread that needs to really be chewed, with a real crust - slathered with fresh, sweet butter. Better than any cake, anywhere, anytime.

Nancy Yoakum said...

Hi Martha,
I bought that book and have yet to make a loaf of bread but you have inspired me to do so!

I didn't get a chance to check out Border yet for the magazine, but if I get my mittens on a copy I will take advantage any subscriptions to help save.

I new Mary Carol was coming out with a Christmas book, is that what you are referring to, or is this something else she had up her sleeves. If so, will need them both! Can't wait for fall and the Holidays!

Hugs, Nancy

Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings... said...

OOOOHhh You and Nana are baking bread today!!! This is just what I was saying to Nana... So hard to cook for two after cooking for such a large family. Like you were reading my mind...Great recipe . Will try this one. Beauriful blog, enjoyed looking around, xoxo~Kathy~ @ Sweet Up-North

Southerncook said...


I saw this last night but didn't leave a comment. Your bread looks heavenly and I can smell it too, OMG. I think I need to try this bread.


Southerncook said...

Forgot to mention that I will be calling WS to order some of the French yeast. Great idea. I have not used it before.


Linda said...

Martha, that loaf is beautiful. My biggest problem is with slashing--I've been told I let the bread rise too much, because when I slash it, it falls. Yours looks perfect.

Do you prefer the French yeast to any of the others you've used? I love Fermipan (hard for me to find) and Gold SAF, but I will use almost anything that gets the job done. ;)

Martha said...

Linda -- the loaf doesn't rise as much as other loaves so when you slash perhaps it doesn't deflate as much as some. Plus you don't slash all that deeply.

I like the French yeast -- a WS sale item and I must admit that when I use it all up I will buy it again. I do think, perhaps, in this kind of bread it does make a difference.
(However, I've only made it with the French yeast).

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I love this method! I almost always have a batch 'brewing' in the frig. I'm glad you like it too.