Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day


Step 2: Measuring and Mixing

Picture of Measuring and Mixing
Put the lukewarm water in the bin, and then add the yeastie-beasties and the salt. Mix it up a little and then add the flour. I use my hands, but a spoon will work too. DO NOT knead, just mix it gently until the flour is incorporated. In the video, I am measuring the flour into a bowl, but I usually measure it straight into the bin with the water etc. The container should be large enough to allow the dough room to double in volume. I use an 8 quart container, and it just barely fits.

IMPORTANT: The flour is measured using the "scoop and sweep" method. Watch the video. Scoop out a cup at a time and then level it off with something straight. Don't pack it in. Don't lose count. Don't use a 2 cup measure, it will come out wrong.

The dough will be very loose and wet. This is just what you want. You may have to add a tiny bit more water to get all of the flour mixed in.

For those that are interested, or live in metric-world, the book and the ABin5 website give metric and oz./lbs. conversions. http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com

Let the dough sit out on the counter for about 2 hours, and then put it in the fridge.

This is perhaps the place for one of the best comments yet:

Jul 21, 2009. 10:41 AM
His Own says:
I followed the recipe exactly, decreasing the salt as is discussed for high altitude, and have had the most beautiful little brown crackly loaves, just as described. It IS a funny, thin, watery, sticky dough, but it works perfectly. I think some of the folks need to just DO the recipe as written, not deciding along the way that the dough is not right. They need to just make it, bake it, taste it, and ONLY THEN decide whether the recipe is correct as written.

Aeray, Thanks for the terrific Instructable! I already have several friends making your bread, and loving it. It really is amazing that such a totally different (and EASY) approach to bread making yields such perfect loaves. I find this, and ALL white breads a little bland, but I should be able to fix that pretty easily with herbs, whole wheat, longer storage of the dough, etc. Again, Thanks!
its not rising because the salt deactivates the yeast salt kills yeast
aeray (author)  meganlickslemons3 years ago
Nope. Salt doesn't kill yeast. If the loaves are "nice and airy", everything is working fine. For this recipe, rise time doesn't really matter. There are loaf pan methods/recipes in the book, but I'd suggest letting the loaf rest/rise for LESS time if you want a taller loaf.
fayanne3 years ago
I have made this recipe twice now and everything turns out great, bread tastes fantastic, *but*, the loaves never rise enough. any suggestions? my house is kinda chilly (lots of slate tile involved) so just as an experiment I let it rise over night once and there was no difference.
aeray (author)  fayanne3 years ago
Is it not rising much before you put it in the oven? Or not rising much in the oven?

Is the bread too dense, or is it good as is?
fayanne aeray3 years ago
Hi aeray, thanks for the response. It is nice and airy texture once cooked, but as I am letting it rest before cooking it keeps getting bigger and bigger in diameter and flatter. Makes it difficult to build a good sandwich. :)
OllieBBakes3 years ago
Thank you for presenting this wonderful information for all of us bread lovers (to the nth degree). My question or rather, I have stayed away from bread baking because I am afraid the yeast temperature has to be "just right" and I worry that I will have the water too cool or too warm. How do you know when the water is just right?
Thank you again - we are all really "breaking bread together."

Ollie B
aeray (author)  OllieBBakes3 years ago
Slightly warm to the touch. Just warmer than body temp. Yeast is pretty hardy, but if you do manage to kill it, just add more.
Thanks for the reply - hopefully, I won't kill it, but sometimes trial and error is the greatest teacher. Ollie B
nixiadel4 years ago
I am using up the last of the batch that I made 3 days ago. Now, at 7 loaves, and 2 small pizzas… I love it. I’m taking 4 loaves to the family dinner tonight. Along with a little seasoned olive oil.

Also, I’ve bought a shoe box sized container perfect for a ½ batch and written the instructions on the top. It breathes, it fits easily on the shelf, and goes right into the dish washer. Gotta love the simple things in life.
Hi nixiadel - I can almost read the lid of your 1/2 batch instructions. Would you kindly send them to me so that I can take the plunge by preparing a 1/2 batch first. I am impressed with your idea of writing what you need on the lid...great idea.

Ollie B.
adsandy4 years ago
Do i need to make sure that all of the lumps are gone?
maifun5 years ago
Where did you get your container? 
fredskuttle6 years ago
OK but what does the yeast eat? usually sugar is added to the mix to feed the yeast to make the bubbles
Proofing the yeast (waiting for it to foam in warm water) was to literally prove that it was still active (alive). If you use modern yeast before the expiration date there is very little risk that it is not still in good condition.
corriean6 years ago
you don't have to wait for the yeast to foam???!