My first batch of 5 minute bread
This was the dough after 7 hours in the fridge. This is a 4qt bowl and I also had another 1.5qt bowl of dough.
I finally bought a copy of ‘Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day’ by Jeff Hertzberg, Zoe Francois. For the past year and a half I’ve been working with the ‘No-Knead Bread’ recipe but with more yeast and less than half the incubating time. And the pot baking method really insures great crust every time. With the ‘five minute’ method, the dough is drier than I’m used to, but it’s still considered a wet dough. The refrigeration makes it easier to handle, and the idea of always having readied dough on hand is great. Of course it’s not literally five minutes but it’s less labor intensive than making a batch of cookies or a cake. Hardest part might have been trying to make room in the fridge for the dough.
After resting. The chunk may have been a bit larger than the recommended grapefruit sized 1lb ball.
The book suggests a baking stone and a broiler tray for hot water to create steam (to form a crisp crust). So I went out and bought a cheap round pizza stone. The top of the bread looked perfect but the bottom was not crusty at all. Maybe it’s the stone or my placement of the steam tray (right under it), but the bottom of the loaf was very light and did not form a proper crust. I tried a second smaller loaf and baked it longer, but the bottom still wasn’t browning.
On the second day, I tried baking a loaf in my enameled cast iron pot. I couldn’t slide the dough in perfectly but it proofed up beautifully. It was sort of football shaped while the other loafs came out more disk shaped. The pot once again made the perfect crust all around and a lighter crumb inside (much larger holes). Also, the dough has gained a little more flavor on the second day. There’s enough dough left for one large loaf or two small ones. Maybe I can mix new dough into the old and build on the flavor?