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Step 2: 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!
eating it right know at midnight love it thank you<br>
You're welcome. Share.
LOVE THE RECIPE, SUPER EASY!!! Thank you so much, just made my first loaf today. Definitely hooked on bread making.
I just made my first loaf. It has been out of the oven less than three minutes and I am eating a piece with butter and I am in BREAD&nbsp;HEAVEN.<br /> <br /> My variations: I used an airbake-type cookie sheet, and I used unbleached flour (unbleached is what I had). I did use the roasting pan and water. Decent oven spring, amazing crust top and bottom, and great crumb. <br /> <br /> Thanks so much for his Instructable! I LOVE making bread, but didn't often because of the work involved. Now? Bread every day!<br />
I&nbsp;have a lot of bleached flour at home, did you just follow the recipe exactly or did you change it? I'm afraid that it might be a big difference with the whole bleached/unbleached flour thing! :P<br />
Glad you like it. Unbleached flour is actually what IS called for in the recipe.<br />
Sorry, I meant BLEACHED. I used bleached flour. I blame my head cold for the mistake!<br /> <br /> Anyway, I made another loaf today using a $1.50 &quot;pizza stone&quot; (unglazed red tile) from Home Depot. I had to handle the loaf again to get it off the sheet it was rising on, but the spring was STILL better than last night. (Do I correctly credit an &quot;older&quot; dough and a stone instead of cookie sheet?)<br /> <br /> <br />
You are giving credit where credit is due. Make sure you flour or cornmeal the rising surface well, and try using a dough knife to gently urge the loaf off of it.<br />
&nbsp;This recipe is fantastic! &nbsp;I cut it in quarter, actually, to make 2 loaves and it was great. &nbsp;Delicious, beautiful bread. I followed the recipe exactly to the t (well, minus making only 2 loaves instead of 8). &nbsp;Thank you for posting this! I will definitely look into the book, as well. Thank you!<br />
Made my second batch of dough today, using an unwashed container and unbleached flour. World. Of. Difference in taste and texture, which was already good. <br /> The first bread from this batch was a pizza crust. Taking what I learned about goopy dough for focaccia from The Paupered Chef, I spread olive oil on a cookie sheet, plopped down a floured 1.5 grapefruit-sized hunk of dough and rolled it roughly square. I then dented it all over using two fingers (like those holes in crackers, only big), and brushed it with more olive oil.<br /> 13 minutes in a preheated 450 degree oven later, beautiful crust. I covered it with sauce, mozzarella, parmesan and cooked chicken tossed in olive oil and spices and put in back in the oven at 450 for 6-7 minutes to melt the cheese and heat the sauce and chicken through.<br /> Amazing texture--crispy, but not dry, smooth but not greasy mouth feel from the olive oil, bouncy inside.<br /> <br /> I'm telling you doubters--the wet sloppy mess is for real.<br /> <br /> <br />
made the dough last night and baked it tonight. That was good! I've now got a new favorite pastime!!! ; )<br /> <br /> Thanks for posting the instructable.<br />
I stumbled across this Instructable about a year ago and I have been using it constantly ever since. I can not say enough about how awesome this recipe is!<br /> <br /> I used the cake container (The large rectangular ones you can get from any bakery) from my birthday cake and it works great as the dough container. I make loaves of bread and pizza all the time with this dough (3 yesterday for the neighbors and friends). Thank you so much for this instructable, I never buy bread anymore!<br />
Glad you like it. Get your hands on the book. It has many other recipes and variations. They also have a new book that is focused on whole-grain and even gluten-free breads. <br />
I have recommended this recipe and the book to so many people. It is a wonderful investment. It has helped my family save so much money and in this economy every penny counts. It sure helps that the bread is better than any loaf I could get at the grocery :)<br />
Update: My first loaf came out at 7:35 AM EDT. Looked a little smaller than I expected. Set it out to cool and 15 minutes late cut off a chunk added unsweetened butter and ate. DELICIOUS> Note I followed the directions to the letter, I'm located in NY City, so I'm pretty much at sea level. Crust was fantastic, I haven't had bread like this since my neighborhood bakery went belly up back in the 80s. No kiding, if this was a little larger (~ 1LB loaf) youd pay 3-4 bucks and it wouldn't be so good. Plenty of dough left in the fridge, will make some more tonight. Maybe weigh out the dough and cut into portions to make rolls. Surprise my sister
Just tried this. Great instructions and video, results were eggzactly as pictured. I dusted everything with more than "just a bit" of flour to make things easier for me. Disclaimer: I'm a pretty good cook, but have NEVER baked a cake or bread in my life, ergo, if it works for me, I can only assume it would work for the lowliest squib out there. BTW, Started yesterday, baked this AM to have fresh bread with my breakfast. Wazz GREAT!
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!
Wow, four loaves later I finally managed to get a picture. This bread is delicious. My boyfriend has decided that we're never buying a loaf again. Thanks so much for sharing! Sorry about the poor quality of the picture. I had to take it with my phone as soon as it got out of the oven or I would've had to wrestle it away from the man. lol
Your pic didn't upload, but I am anxious to see it.
Hm, how very strange. Let's try this again. You can see that it's on parchment paper. I don't have a pizza stone, so I stole a terracotta saucer out from under one of my plants and used it instead. It works very well.
I tried your trick of using a terracotta plant saucer. worked beautifully. thanks
Excellent. Thanks.
Aeray, Thanks for this great Instructable! Because of it I went and borrowed the book from the library. Yesterday I made my first boule and believe me it was very hard to let it cool enough to cut. I had 3 slices before I knew it. I've been baking bread for 26 years and this is the closest that I've come to having a bread that I used to eat as a kid growing up in Germany. There is nothing as great as eating a slice of nice crusty homemade bread. Other than sex of course. Thank you for reintroducing me to great bread! :) I've been sharing your Instructable with friends and family ever since I found it. You've done us all a great service by putting together such a fantastic Instructable. With thanks, Holly
I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the great comment.
Oh man. I tried this recipe last night with a couple improvisations and I'm a fan. I'll never buy a loaf of bread again, not so long as I have access to dough and an oven. Kudos.
Yep, I haven't bought bread since New Years. I am curious about your improvisations...
During the last month, I've made five loaves using this recipe and method. i just have one word: FANTASTIC. It's soooooo easy to get this beautiful bread loaf that I could devour plain in just a few minutes. Currently have a dough batch in my fridge which I added some rye flour too, this is going to be interesting!
Thanks for the photo. I'd highly recommend getting the book(s), lots of other bread recipes. I just made pitas last night with the basic recipe.
<p>Hello.</p><p>I cannot watch the videos, is there any problem with them? I tried different browsers (updating plugins, pasting the links directly in some installed flash players, etc.), even a friend (in another country) couldn't watch them. The videos always are &quot;loading&quot; showing a black screen. I tried different ways to access them without success.<br><br>I'm really interested, especially in the gluten cloak...</p>
No, no, you haven't offended me at all. I just noticed you were making a bunch of comments. A lot of public libraries have the books now, so that might be a good resource for getting started. Also, there were a few errors in the first printing of the first book, so check the ABin5 website for the corrections. A few of them are important.
<p>*SNATCH!* </p><p>this book is mine! TY for this recipe, as I am one who lives on bread...I'll eat about 2 maybe 3 loaves a week....this is not just meals &amp; sandwiches, but snacks as well. : ) I love bread, &amp; now, thanks to you, I have a new recipe!! TY Sir! I'm happier than a kitten chasing a leaky cow! : )</p>
You're really on a roll with the comments today! The second ABin5 book is also good. Make sure you try the zaatar flatbread from the first book, and the broa.
Dear Sir/Madam:<br> If I have said anything to upset you, or anything that was less than respectful, I humbly apologize. That was never my intention.<br>I have found a new bread recipe that is not only easy to do, but very delicious to say the least...And I have you to thank for this.<br>Currently I do not own any of the books this author has written, but that is gonna change REAL QUICK. If this recipe is any indication of what I can expect of his/her books, then I shall be in chef's heaven. LOL<br><br>Thank you for enlightening me to a &quot;new frontier&quot;. : )<br><br>Sincerely,<br>Capernius
<p>I made it and it is great. What about convection, does that change the time baking characteristics.</p>
Lower the temp by 25&deg;F and make sure to rotate the loaf one or twice for even browning. It should cook slightly faster as well.
<p>Just curious but how wet should your dough be before you bake it. Mine was really dry and falling apart so I added just a touch more water and it all stuck together but only barely.</p>
It should be extremely wet, to the point that it is fairly difficult to work with. I think you made a measurement error somewhere.
<p>Fantastic recipe! Thanks a lot for sharing - I'll be getting the book for Father's day. For my second batch, I increased the quantities by ~ 1/4:</p><p>1 full bag of flour</p><p>5 packets of yeast</p><p>3.5 TSP of salt</p><p>7.5 cups of water. </p><p>I made an attempt to make an even lazier version where I put the baguette into the oven the night day before and programmed the oven so that I'd get warm bread when I get up. It mostly worked out OK; the two main problems were that it didn't crack up in the middle like in this picture because the cuts I made completely closed up overnight and that the dough seeped through the perforations in the baguette rack making the baguette impossible to remove. The taste and the consistency were good nonetheless.</p><p>Next time I will attempt a slightly less lazy version where I'd shape the dough the night before and program the oven to preheat by the time I get up. That would shorten the time to just 30-35 minutes before I get the bread the next day.</p>
<p>not sure if this is still active but have a question - first loaves came out great - when I did the last of the first batch (had only used half and had refrigerated), used same methods and there was a huge hole between the crust and the loaf -why would that happen? Have mixed up another batch now and will try again. Taste was phenomenal though!</p>
The gluten cloak is what you are forming around the outside of the ball of dough when you shape the loaf. It is hard to explain, so watch the video about shaping the loaf.
Sometimes that just happens, with all breads. My only suggestion would be to take extra care making the &quot;gluten cloak&quot; while at the same time not over handling the dough. That or fill the hole with jam and butter.
Like your suggestion of butter or jam! That's what my guests did - but what is the &quot;gluten cloak&quot;?
<p>Thank you for this instructable. I had borrowed the book from the library and am now trying to buy it in Australia at a reasonable price. I have just mixed up my first dough which is now resting. I also have made my our sourdough mother and am still playing with a recipe.....i feel i have bread running in my veins.</p>
<p>I LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! From all the way down here in New Zealand I have just followed your recipe exactly for at least the last few months (much to everyones delight) and it comes out perfectly every time! I also love the tip about not cleaning the bowl to allow a sourdough flavour to develop. Can I ask, how long can you keep reusing the bowl till you need to clean it? I have just finished my dough and am smelling the lovely sourdough bowl, but have been using it for a month and would hate to throw away that smell by washing it ifI didn't need to.... any help appreciated. Thanks for posting this recipe! Do you have any wholemeal loaves as good as this? Thanks</p>
I reuse my container until the edges get too crusty. You can save a small amount of the sour dough (1/2 cup or so), wash the container, and then add the reserved dough to the next batch to keep it going. <br><br>The authors have a few whole meal recipes in the first book, but they also have another book, a sequel, &quot;Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day&quot; that I would recommend. They only gave me permission to write up this recipe though, so go get the book.
<p>Great thank you so much! I'm looking forward to my lunch - another loaf of fresh bread!</p>
Someone said salt kills yeast, it will if the two are dry mixed first. But if the salt is discord it will work. When I make bread I need it and it turns out great, and I bet it's the same amount of work as yours. I've done the no need breads and they turn out heavy and watery on the inside. But a kneaded bread turns out great. The more it rises the more fluffy it is. Good luck everyone.
Try this one before you knock it. Heavy and gummy no-knead bread can be cured by:<br>1) double check your oven temp with a reliable, calibrated thermometer.<br>2) resting the dough longer (15 min or so)<br>3) increase the flour slightly (1/4 cup at a time).<br>4) bake 10 min longer.
Not sure if my water is less wet than yours...I quartered the recipe and measured pretty carefully, and the dough took a lot more water to get it to become integrated/sticky. Tomorrow will tell :D Can't wait!
Well, it turned out - loaf on the left is about 5 inches across, very small, didn't rise much, but dense inside is pretty uuber yummy. <br> <br>My yeast is pretty old - gonna try again with new yeast to get a bit more oomph and see if I get some more flavour (right now its just 'bread') - little or no baking smell in the house.