Just in case you have been living in a cave the past few months and haven’t heard of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, well, here’s your wake up call.
Buy the book.
I’m not sure what took me so long to finally make the purchase. To be honest, I am not much of a bread baker, although I love bread. Love it. It’s just that we keep our house super cool, and yeasty things just don’t work out so well. In the summer, I can bake it, but only if I carry the dough out to my car and let it rise. That gets old.
ABin5 solves that problem. Completely.
After my book arrived, I set about following the instructions to make the basic starter dough. All mixed in the KitchenAid in just a few minutes – no kneading. Then I stuck it in a couple of tubs with a cover and left the house. Yep – out the door. Went to an auction and bought stuff I really didn’t need. Forgot about the dough. 5 hours later, I come home to 2 containers of risen and fallen dough, just as described in the book. That was last Thursday. The dough has been sitting in my fridge since then, just waiting for me to yank it out and use it.
I decided that yesterday would be the day. The “let’s just see if this really works” day. So I opened one of the containers and tugged out about a pound and a half of dough. First thought? No way. No way is this going to work. It’s too wet. It’s awfully sticky. I can’t make anything out of this mess.
But I waited. I followed the excellent instructions. I floured my hands, the counter, a baking stone. And I shaped that dough into 5 large pitas while a baking stone was in the oven preheating to 500 degress. One by one I put the pitas in the oven, and one by one they came out..perfectly. Puffed and hollow and ready to be filled. Truthfully, I was shocked. It really DID work. And it was easy.
Next up I am going to try making just a boule, to see how that works. Same dough – it’s already in the fridge. Oooh – or pizza. Again, same dough. Once I have used up what’s waiting, I intend to try my hand at one of the other dough recipes – probably the American White Bread. I like a soft crust, and this one sounds perfect. Although after looking through all of the fabulous pictures on the ABin5 website, I might change my mind to something else. Again.
What I love about the book is that it is so user friendly. Step by step instructions are given for each and every type of loaf or dough. And not only that, but there are great fillings and topping recipes scattered throughout the book to go with what you are making.
Now that I have ABin5, I know we’ll be having fresh bread often. And pretzels. Oh, and sweet rolls. Cinnamon Buns, anyone?
If you are one of the underprivledge folks out there who do not own a copy of this book – you are in luck. Today’s the day I get to give one away thanks to Zoë François, co-author of the book, (who, sadly, I had been chatting with on Twitter and didn’t even realize she was the genius behind this bread making revolution). You can not only check her out at the Artisan Bread site, but at her amazing blog Zoe Bakes.
Want to win? Of course you do. If you won it already, comment here. Tell me your favorite recipe from the book and why. If you win, I have a feeling you know just who you would like to give a copy to. If you don’t own the book yet, leave me a comment about how you think it will change the way you work in the kitchen. Something quick is fine. Just tell me something about yourself! I will be announcing the Randomly Chosen winner tomorrow via Twitter, so make sure you are following me. Good luck – and thanks Zoë for your help!