Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Bread

Erin, I like the idea of making sourdough, per your previous post, but there's all that waiting involved. So, my friend Doug, who lives in New Hampshire, and I both make this 5 minute artisan bread on a regular basis. One of us found the recipe in the NY Times (probably Doug), and now we make it constantly and text each other pictures of our loaves-in-progress. It came from some book by some bakery people -- I don't know. Doug can tell you. The most important thing to know is how to make it, which is super easy, which is why we like it so much. I made the best loaf I've ever made a couple of days ago, and I've still got about 2 loaves worth of dough left. This is not it, but this one was pretty:
Sometimes, my dough is so awesome, it looks like art.
It's the easiest thing on Earth to make; here's what you do:

Take 3 C warm water and 1 1/2 Tablespoons of yeast and put them in a big bowl. I wait a few minutes for it to foam up, but you don't need to. Lately, I've been using Bob's Red Mill active yeast, which I find in the refrigerated section near the tofu at Whole Foods. Good yeast makes the difference, in my opinion.

Add 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Kosher salt.

Add 6 1/2 C flour. Doug and I agree that half white, half whole wheat makes better bread than 100% of one or the other. Just dump it in the bowl and stir until it's all mixed together. You're done. No kneading involved. It's Lazy People Bread.

Gather the dough into a ball, let it sit around for a couple of hours, then stick it in the fridge, or cut off a 1/3 of it and make a loaf right away.

Form your dough into a nice round loaf, dust it with flour, score the top, put it on a peel or a pan dusted with cornmeal, and let it rise for 40 minutes. Put it in a preheated 450 oven for 30 minutes with a couple of ramekins filled with water (or pour water in your broiler pan), to create steam, which gives the bread a nice chewy crust. Ta da! Bread! Sometimes I throw in a handful of walnuts, which makes it insanely delicious.

This is the Cliff's Notes version I keep posted near the oven. I'm thinking about editing it down to one post-it note:


  1. I just realized that if you added an "h" to Doug's name, it would be "Dough", and that's funny.

  2. I used to work with a Chinese guy who pronounced my name 'Dough'. I guess 'Doug' doesn't translate into any other language.
    If it's not Scottish, it's crap!