5 minutes a day

This is from the book, "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.

My friend Lindsay shared it with me. 




Bread Boule-5 minutes a day


Preaparation time: 20 minutes active to prepare the dough, 5 minutes active on day of baking.



3 cups lukewarm water(about 100° F)

1 ½ tablespoons granulated yeast

1 ½ tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt 

6 ½ cups all-purpose white flour (no need to sift)

(I use 3½ cups of whole wheat flour, 3 cups of white bread flour, and a few tablespoons of wheat gluten.) 

Cornmeal for the pizza peel


Instructions (the do-ahead part):

1. In a 5-quart bowl, combine yeast, water and salt.  Add all the flour; then use a wooden spoon to mix until all ingredients are uniformly moist.  It is not necessary to knead or continue mixing once ingredients are wet.  This will produce a loose and very wet dough.


 2. Cover with a lid (not airtight), or plastic werap with several holes poked into it.  Allow mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse, about 2 hours, but no more than 5 hours.


After rising, dough can be baked immediately, or tightly covered and refrigerated up to 14 days.  Dough will be easier to workwith after at least 3 hours refrigeration.


Instructions (when you're ready for fresh bread!): 

1. Sprinkle a pizza peel (or baking sheet) with cornmeal. (I omit this and use parchment paper instead.)


2. Grab a 1-pound (grapefruit size) piece of dough.  Recover remaining dough in bowl and refrigerate for baking at another time.  


3. Shape the dough into a ball by gently pulling sides down around to the bottom.  (Add a little flour if you need.)  This shaping should take no more than 1 minute. 


4. Let it rise for 40 minutes.  It does not need to be covered.  The bread may not rise much during this time.  This is normal.  (I let it rise on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.)


5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  (I put my pizza peel in the oven to preheat too.) 


6. Dust the loaf liberally with flour; then use a serrated knife to slash a 1/4 inch-deep cross or tic-tac-toe pattern into top, and stick it in the oven!  Quickly but carefully, pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray and close oven door. (I set a pan of water on a lower rack instead.)


7. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch.  Allow bread to cool coompletely, preferably on a wire cooling rack. 

Makes four 1-pound loaves.