Easier, maybe... Cheaper?? No!... better?? Definitely not! Aside from the occasional expensive treat of a loaf of sourdough from the Warrandyte or Abbotsford Convent Bakery, the bread that our little family can afford is by no means up to the standard of a lovely home made loaf.
With frugality and flavour in mind I have been on the look-out for a decent EASY bread recipe and (praise the Lordy!) I have found one! This recipe makes a large portion of dough that can be used to make around 4 loaves and can be kept in the fridge in a lidded container for up to 14 days. We usually use the whole lot in a couple of days as we are greedy like that. One loaf is never enough!!
You can visit the original site (with extremely detailed instructions) at food.com HERE or you can stick with me while I give you my take on this beauty!
|Picture from food.com (I would have included one of my own however we ate it all before I could photograph it... It looked a lot like this one)|
Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day
3 cups of luke-warm water (just warmer than body temperature)
1 1/2 tablespoon dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt (I have reduced this measurement as the original recipe was far too salty in my opinion)
6 1/2 cups unsifted flour (no need for bread flour, run-of-the-mill is fine. You could use wholemeal or mix some rye or spelt with plain flour if that kind of thing rocks your socks)
Preparing the dough:
1. In a large bowl (lidded is good but not essential), add yeast to warm water and stir
2. Throw in the flour and salt and stir until uniformly moist
3. Allow to rest and rise for at least 2 hours before using a portion
Baking the bread
1. Grease a flat tray and pre-heat the oven to 230 degrees celsius (put a shallow tray of water on the bottom of the oven- this makes the crust extra crispy!)
2. The mixture will be sticky so dust the top with flour before slicing off a portion with a serrated knife. Place a quarter of the mixture (or more/less.. whatever you fancy really) on the tray and allow to rise a further 15-20 minutes
3. Dust the top of the loaf with flour and slash a couple of deep lines in the top (you don't have to.. it's just vanity) and bake until the loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the (about 20-30 minutes usually)
Repeat this process whenever you want to bake some of your dough. The "older" the dough is, the more it will take on sourdough qualities.
I discovered this when trying to salvage my very salty batch of dough. When mixing the flour and salt in, add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup warm honey. This really lifted the bread to the next level.