I have to admit, I am in love with the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. In fact, I don't buy bread anymore, I bake it whenever I need it, since I always keep a bucket of the master dough from the book in my fridge. Over time, I have been able to simplify the process even further by using a silicone bread maker.
Normally the process would involve using corn meal, a baking stone, a pizza peel, and a tray of water in the oven. With the silicone bread maker, all these are eliminated.
- 6 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
- 2 packets dry yeast (I've found Seitenbacher yeast to work the best)
- 1 1/2 tbsp Kosher Salt
- 3 cups filtered water
Step 1: Prep Dough
To keep flour from blowing everywhere when I fire up my stand mixer, I took one of the plastic lids for the mixing bowl and cut a circular hole in it large enough for the orbital motion of the mixer. I highly recommend doing this to make clean up a LOT easier.
Mix the flour, salt, water, and yeast in the stand mixer until well-incorporated. This recipe is for a slack dough, so it should be a little sticky. After mixing, place the dough in a non-airtight container. I make these by taking a large food-safe bucket and drilling 5 small holes in the center of the lid as shown in the picture. This lets air in, but keeps the container tight enough that the dough doesn't pick up smells in the fridge. Let the dough sit for 2-4 hours until it doubles in size and starts to shrink back down.
Step 2: Flop, Splat, and Sit
Using about half of the dough (and refrigerating the rest for another loaf), work the dough on a floured and well-oiled bread board. All you need to do is sort of fold in inside out for a minute or so with both hands to form a flattened sphere as pictured. This creates a gluten cloak around the outside.
Preheat oven to 428 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the bread in the silicone bread maker and cover with a towel for 30-45 minutes until it almost doubles in size.
Step 3: Bake
Close the bread maker as shown and place it in the oven for about 30-35 minutes. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack.