All grains contain peptides that mimic morphine or endogenous opioid substances. This is where I deal with my latest loaf craving. Get your bread-based exorphin fix here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Everyday Bread #19 - Healthy Bread in 5 Master Recipe

After giving away so many loaves on the weekend, I was left with little bread again (half a loaf of that surprisingly tasty 100% rye, which will no doubt disappear quickly).

A friend asked me the other day if I had any good bread recipes that her daughter might try.  I always tell people to start with the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day recipes, and see how they like baking bread.  From there, it is easy enough to try something more adventuresome.  I usually point them to the following videos and links to learn enough to just try it, to see how simple it is to make good bread:

The YouTube video by the authors of 'Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day' -- the easiest and quickest method (no-knead, mix it in one bowl) I've found.  Watch the video, it is less than 5 minutes, it has the whole technique and recipe and yes, it is that easy.

Their second book "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day' has a video too.  The book has many more whole grain recipes. If you like the results of the artisan bread, I suggest trying the whole wheat Master recipe next.   

And of course, the main web site of the 5min/day Authors has other videos and recipes one can try too.

I was thinking that I hadn't made any of the 5 min/day bread for some time, and while I was casting about for a recipe to make, I just tossed together the ingredients for the Master Recipe from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day and forgot about it.  It sat out maybe 5 hours (should have been only 2) while I tried to get back to sleep.  Then it was refrigerated.  So perhaps the yeast was a bit sluggish when I finally went to bake.

This morning I didn't have much time to fiddle with it (am building a tool shed/chicken hut in the backyard under the supervision and with the help of my friend David).  I decided to try an experiment, though.  I'd bake it on the barbecue, using the double-stone method I've been trying lately.   I wasn't sure how much time the dough would need though, at 600+ degrees.

Shaping the dough was problematic. It was too gooey.  I ended up putting my hands in water so the dough wouldn't stick to it, and I may have changed the hydration a bit too much when I did so.  Also, perhaps the dough hadn't been refrigerated long enough -- less than 2 hours.

I had the bread on the stone ready to turn on the barbecue when I realized I had no propane.  I had used up an entire tank when I needed to cure my new cast iron pot the other day.  So on to plan B: I'd bake my hbin5 bread in the oven.  Actually, my wife popped it in for me.  I had no time to come in and score it or put water and seeds on the top.  It would be just plain bread.

I brought the stone in from the barbecue and put it in the stove cold.  Much later, after the bread was baked, I noticed that the stone had cracked in two.  With any luck I should be able to still use it in the barbecue.

But the dough failed to rise, it just drooped as it baked.  I consider this yabf ("yet another bread failure"), but my wife loves the taste.  She even took some to her mom today to give to her.  It is not a bread I want to show anyone, and I am still suspicious of the Vital Wheat Gluten ingredient, thinking it defeats some of the benefits of having whole wheat.  But hey.  At least I have something to eat.

Notes to Myself:
  • Mise en place should extend to the propane you will use to bake with.  Make certain you have everything on hand before you begin
  • What would happen if you oiled the stone before trying this technique (i.e. putting a cold stone with a fully risen bread on it into the oven)?  Would the oiled stone smoke?  What oil might have the best smoking point for a hot oven?
  • What if you didn't include the all purpose flour?
  • What if you didn't include the vital wheat gluten?
  • What if you used a different liquid than water? (What if you used carbonated water?)
  • What if you baked this dough in a pot like Lahey's recipe?
  • For the rest of the dough you made last night, try oiling a bowl, letting it rise there, and turning it out at the last moment before baking onto a hot stone, if you can spatula it out in one piece.

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